Hyundai and Kia saw their May global sales drop compared with year-ago results by double-digit figures.

Automakers around the globe are finalizing the count on how many vehicles they sold in May and South Korean automakers Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors said its initial results showed their global sales fell by double-digit percentages.

Hyundai report its sales fell 39.3% compared with the same month last year. In total, the company sold 217,510 vehicles around the world, which does offer a bit of encouragement for some makers as the result is a 30% increase compared to April’s 167,693 vehicles it sold. Additionally, the company performed well in its home market, seeing sales jump 4.5% year over year.

The totals are down just slightly compared with April, just 0.3% or just 232 vehicles. South Korea was not impacted a severely as most countries, including China and the U.S. — its two largest markets – by the coronavirus pandemic, helping with its home market sales.

(Hyundai, Kia reopen U.S. operations.)

However, outside of South Korea, the results reveal a much different picture, with sales dropping to 146,700 units from 290,811 units last May. The 49.6% decline is due to the impact of the pandemic, the company said. The comparison to April mirrored that of the predictions of other automakers, showing a 51.8% slide.

Hyundai sales in its home market grew 4.5% in May after it emerged from the coronavirus pandemic.

The automaker’s year-to-date sales are down using any of the aforementioned measures.

  • Global sales fell to 1.29 million from 1.75 million, or 26.3 percent
  • Overseas sales dropped to 987,716 from 1.43 million, or 30.7 percent
  • Home market sales slid to 300,913 from 323,126, or 6.9 percent

Hyundai officials said the company will continue to maintain its risk management capability and stabilize its supply chain to minimize negative business impact from spread of COVID-19.

(Hyundai teases new Elantra N.)

Kia Motors, Hyundai’s sister company and combined they comprise the world’s fifth-largest automaker, announced provisional May sales of 160,913 vehicles, down 32.7% from a year ago.

From Soul to Telluride, Kia now leaves no real gap in its SUV line-up, but that didn’t help its overseas sales in May as they fell 44 percent.

Like Hyundai, Kia saw its sales in its home market jumped 19% to 51,181 units.

Sales of Kia models in overseas markets decreased by 44% in May 2020, to 109,732 units. This was due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, which depleted consumer demand. Kia officials offered the same statement saying it “had to scale back the operation of its overseas plants in response to the pandemic, and the consequential reduction in supply contributed to the fall in overseas dealer sales.”

(Hyundai goes online during the pandemic to reveal 2021 Elantra.)

Overall, South Korea’s May auto exports fell 54% compared with last May. The industry saw the big drop despite some countries, such as China, resuming post-pandemic sales efforts and low inventory levels in those countries, Reuters reported.

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