The Hyundai brand's U.S. sales fell 0.6 percent to 64,720 in December as fleet volume fell 27 percent. However, it reported a 9 percent increase in retail sales.
The large Palisade crossover, which debuted in the U.S. in summer, had its best month to date, with 5,654 deliveries. Sales of the Elantra sedan, down for the year, jumped in December. And the new subcompact Venue crossover is ramping up in the U.S. with 787 sales in the month. The brand's other volume models declined, including the Tucson crossover, down 27 percent.
For the year, Hyundai finished up 3.2 percent to 688,771 units as its mix of its light-truck sales increased. Besides incremental volume from the Palisade and Venue, Hyundai also benefited from annual sales increases of the Kona and Santa Fe. On the car side, the Ioniq and Veloster contributed sales increases.
Kia's December deliveries jumped 8 percent to 51,229 vehicles as the large Telluride and midsize Sportage crossovers and Rio subcompact car continued to bolster the brand's volume.
For the year, Kia's sales rose 4.4 percent to 615,338. Retail volume rose 7.4 percent while annual fleet sales were their lowest since 2014, the brand said.
The Genesis luxury brand more than tripled volume to 2,225 in December on a leap in sales of the G70 sedan. For the year, sales doubled to 21,233.
Brands: Hyundai, down 0.6% in December, up 3.2% in 2019; Genesis, up 262% in December; up 106% in 2029
Notable nameplates: Hyundai Elantra, up 24%; Accent, down 40%; Kona, down 20%; Santa Fe, down 8.8%; Sonata, down 18%; Tucson, down 27%; Kia Rio, up 33%; Sportage, up 20%; Forte, down 1%; Sorento, down 14%; Optima, down 8.6%; Genesis G70, up 434%; G80, up 158%; G90, up 170%
U.S. market share: 7.7% in 2019 v. 7.3% in 2018
Incentives: For Hyundai, $2,796, down 0.1%, according to ALG. For Kia, $3,425, up 1.1%.
Average transaction price: For Hyundai, $25,380, an 11% increase over last year, according to ALG. For Kia, $24,584, an increase of 7.7%.
Quote: "We closed the year strong with retail sales increasing by 13% in the fourth quarter thanks to our now complete SUV lineup with seven different options for customers. The year was also spent working closely with our dealer partners to provide the right vehicles to customers and to make a concerted effort to improve the customer sales and service experience," said Randy Parker, vice president of national sales at Hyundai Motor America.
Did you know? The Hyundai brand's retail mix of crossovers has topped 60% for the last six months.