Hyundai Motor America reported a strong close to 2022 between its Hyundai and Genesis nameplates, due in part to increased production, strong crossover sales and new Genesis products reaching showrooms.
Consumer interest in Hyundai-badged "eco-friendly" vehicles continue to grow, posting a 72 percent year-over-year increase in December and a 40 percent increase in the fourth quarter, compared with the same period last year, according to Hyundai Motor America CEO Randy Parker.
Growth in this segment was led by hybrid variants of the Elantra, Santa Fe and Tucson, as well as the Ioniq 5 electric crossover and the electric version of the Kona.
Increased production also allowed Hyundai to resume deliveries to fleet customers in the fourth quarter. The brand had been solely focused on getting vehicles to dealers in the first nine months of the year.
Despite the return to fleet, Parker said Hyundai achieved its fifth consecutive month of record retail sales, with an increase of 27 percent over the same period last year.
Tedros Mengiste, Genesis' vice president of operations, said robust sales for the luxury brand can be attributed to a "memorable and successful year for Genesis" that included the launch of three new products — the GV60 electric crossover, Electrified G80 sedan and redesigned G90 flagship sedan —as well as the opening of the first two standalone retail locations in Louisiana and North Carolina.
Brands: Hyundai ended 2022 with 724,265 sales, a 1.9 percent decrease from 2021. Parker attributed the slight drop in annual deliveries to the microchip shortage, but noted that despite the challenges, the brand outperformed the industry.
In the fourth quarter, Hyundai sales reached 195,967, a 29 percent increase over the last three months of 2021. Parker said it was the best fourth quarter in both retail and total sales for the company.
Hyundai posted December sales of nearly 72,058, achieving a 40 percent increase over the year-ago month, as well as the "highest December sales in the history of the brand," according to Parker.
Genesis, Hyundai's luxury arm, closed the year with 56,410 sales, representing a 14 percent increase over 2021 and the first time the brand has achieved more than 50,000 sales. In the fourth quarter, Genesis rose 1.5 percent, with 15,530 sales.
December marked a best-ever month for the brand, with 6,172 sales and a 23 percent increase over the year-ago month. The popular GV70 crossover posted 2,477 sales, also achieving a best-ever month.
Notable nameplates: Hyundai Elantra, up 126% in December, up 71% in Q4; Sonata, up 96% in December, up 57% in Q4; Palisade, up 7% in December, down 13% in Q4; Santa Cruz, up 16% in December, up 37% in Q4; Santa Fe, up 35% in December, up 49% in Q4; Tucson, up 34% in December, up 42% in Q4.
U.S. light-vehicle market share (Hyundai and Genesis combined): 5.6 percent in 2022, up from 5.2 percent in 2021.
Incentives: $1,076 in December, down 10.2% year-over-year; $978 in Q4, down 60.1% year-over-year, according to TrueCar.
Average transaction price: $36,967 in December, up 2.3% from a year earlier, and $36,841 in Q4, down 18.3% year-over-year, TrueCar said.
Fleet mix: After nine straight months of zero fleet sales, Hyundai resumed sales to fleet customers in Q4 and closed the year with fleet sales comprising 2.2 percent of total sales volume.
Inventory: Hyundai said U.S. inventory stood at 37,379 vehicles at the end of December, down from 39,898 at the close of November, but a considerable improvement from December one year ago, which closed with 21,420.
Quote: "With respect to rising interest rates and consumer-facing transaction prices, obviously it's bound to have an impact. That's the strategic direction by the Fed, raising the rates to cool off the economy. We recognize and acknowledge that, and it's going to make things a lot more challenging in 2023." — Randy Parker, CEO of Hyundai Motor America
Did you know? Seventy percent of Hyundai's dealers are undergoing a major facility transformation.