NEW YORK -- Hyundai Motor America plans to halve fleet sales this year, part of an effort to increase retail sales by 100,000 units, CEO John Krafcik says.
"We want to make sure our dealers can continue to grow," Krafcik said in an interview at the New York auto show. "With our capacity constraints, we are growing incrementally."
Hyundai aims to sell just 32,000 fleet units this year. As a result, combined retail and fleet sales for 2012 should total about 713,000 units, which would be about a 10 percent gain from 2011.
With 815 dealers, a 100,000-unit retail increase in one year is "a pretty big throughput increase," Krafcik said.
New or redesigned products will account for much of the additional volume.
The redesigned Hyundai Azera went on sale this month. It followed the recent launch of a re-engineered Genesis Coupe and last fall's Veloster debut.
A new Elantra Coupe, Elantra GT hatchback and redesigned Santa Fe are also scheduled to launch this year.
The fresh products should be a relief to dealers struggling with low inventories. But the transaction prices of the vehicles they sell are often close to the sticker prices, Krafcik said.
"Dealers understand the power of MSRP. We have lowest incentives while adding content and holding MSRP flat. People are comfortable paying MSRP for a Hyundai. Most of the industry discount is 10 percent off sticker. We're at 3.5 percent" discount, he said.
Krafcik also wants his dealers to increase their efforts in certified used vehicles. Hyundai has about 3.3 percent certified-used market share, a figure Krafcik wants to see equal Hyundai's 5.5 percent retail share.
Krafcik said: "When we are suffering with new-car volume constraints, salesmen can walk a customer to a [certified pre-owned] with equal or better gross."
Ryan Beene contributed to this report