2021 Hyundai Sante Fe front

Hyundai’s SUV sales were up 8% compared with last February, but other vehicle segments were down.

Given the power failures in the huge Texas market and the cold, snowy weather in the Northeast sales of new vehicles held up well in February, according to the handful of carmakers reporting sales figures for the month, albeit they were down compared with year-ago results.

Hyundai Motor America reported total February sales dropped 9% compared with the company’s all-time best February in 2020. Retail sales were down 2%. Hyundai fleet sales were down 47%, representing 9% of total volume.

Randy Parker, Hyundai vice president of sales, noted during a telephone interview with TheDetroitBureau that February 2021 contained two fewer selling days and one fewer selling weekend than last year. On a daily selling rate basis, Hyundai total sales increased 1% and retail sales were up 9%.

Hyundai’s feeble February

Hyundai SVP Randy Parker

Hyundai SVP Randy Parker, said production was going full bore, meaning buyers shouldn’t have a problem getting the Hyundai they want.

“Hyundai’s manufacturing facilities have maintained production levels, allowing our customers to find the Hyundai vehicle they desire,” said Randy Parker, senior vice president, National Sales, Hyundai Motor America.

“Significant weather in parts of the country disrupted logistics and sales. We anticipate sales bouncing back in those areas over the next several months. Despite that, consumer demand remains strong and Hyundai dealers continue to achieve increasing return on sales.”

Hyundai’s retail SUV sales were up 8% and represented 69% of the total retail mix and sales of the company’s eco-friendly line-up increased 17%.

Kia suffers same fate

The new Carnival gave Kia some hope going forward.

Hyundai’s sibling brand, Kia, reported a sales decline of 7.8% on a volume basis, compared to February 2020, which had two additional sales days.

“February saw positive advancements for the Kia brand on multiple fronts. The pace of new Sorento SUV sales continued to increase and J.D. Power named Kia the number one mass market brand in the 2021 Vehicle Dependability Study,” said Sean Yoon, Kia Motors North America CEO.

“The launch activities supporting both Sorento and the all-new 2022 Kia Carnival MPV have been instrumental to Kia’s strong first quarter performance and contributed to a 2.4% increase in the year-to-date adjusted daily selling rate of over the same period last year. We are confident that momentum will continue with four all-new or significantly redesigned vehicle introductions scheduled for the remainder of the year,” Yoon said.

Toyota’s tally down

Lexus Division sales for February were up 9.8%.

Toyota Motor North America said sales dropped 5.7% on a volume basis. Toyota Division sales for the month were down 6.6% but Lexus Division sales were up 1.4%.  On a daily sale rate basis, TMNA sales were up 2.1% while Toyota division sales were up 1.2% and Lexus sales increased 9.8%. Toyota also reported sales of alternative powered vehicles accounted for almost 23% of total TMNA sales.

Thomas King, president of the data and analytics division at J.D. Power, noted despite challenges posed by inclement weather in most of the country, retail sales demand continues to be strong with the industry posting a second consecutive month of year-over-year gains on the retail side of the business.

“Typically, weather related sales disruptions are made up in the weeks following, so most of the sales lost at the beginning of February will be made up at the end of February and trail into early March,” King said.

Even with tight inventories, retail sales for new vehicles are expected to rise 3.3% compared with February 2020 when adjusted for selling days, King added.

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