Hyundai Motor America eked out a U.S. sales gain by a mere three units in August, thanks to strong growth from its crossover lineup, while affiliate Kia dropped 7.9 percent on a mixed performance from its car and light-truck lines.
The three-vehicle margin -- 72,015 vs. 72,012 in August 2015 -- was enough to give Hyundai its best August ever in the U.S., the automaker said. Hyundai’s Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport crossovers were up 35 percent to 15,176 vehicles, and the smaller Tucson was up 15 percent to 7,608 sales.
But one small car made a big contribution: The subcompact Accent’s 76 percent jump to 8,329 vehicles helped Hyundai avert a sales decline.
The rest of the brand’s car sales were less rosy. The midsize Sonata fell 32 percent to 14,888, while the redesigned compact Elantra fell 7.5 percent to 20,733.
For the first time, Hyundai broke out results for its Genesis luxury brand, which logged 1,497 U.S. sales in August from its lone nameplate, the G80, formerly known as the Hyundai Genesis. Hyundai said the second model, the G90, is expected to reach dealers later this month.
Kia sold 54,248 vehicles in August, with winners and losers among its cars and light trucks. The always-popular Soul hatchback became less so, dropping 28 percent to 12,253 vehicles, while the Optima midsize car was down 32 percent to 9,470 vehicles. But the subcompact Rio surged 92 percent to 3,325 sales, and the compact Forte family gained 21 percent.
On the light-truck side, the Sedona minivan more than doubled to 5,147 sales while the recently redesigned Sportage compact crossover continued to do well, rising 20 percent from a year earlier to 6,888 sales. The larger Sorento crossover dropped 16 percent to 8,533 vehicles.
For the year through August, Hyundai sales are up 1.3 percent, and Kia is up 3.8 percent.