Hyundai auto group presents modest sales goal for 2019

Lim Chang-won Reporter Posted : 2019-01-02 10:07 Updated : 2019-01-02 10:07
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[Courtesy of Hyundai Motor]

SEOUL -- South Korea's Hyundai auto group presented a modest target for 2019 as sales last year were slower than expected at home and abroad amid concerns that domestic carmakers were losing competitiveness due to high production costs and an unfavorable external situation.

In a regulatory filing on Wednesday, the group set this year's combined sales target at 7.6 million units -- 4.68 million by Hyundai Motor and 2.92 million by its affiliate Kia Motors. Actual figures have yet to come, but total sales for 2018 were estimated at about 7.4 million, which fell short of the 2018 target of 7.55 million.

The auto group's business prospects have been clouded by high labor costs, slow sales and trade protectionism. Frequent strikes, excessive demands by unions and their intervention in management have hurt Hyundai's competitiveness, contributing to low productivity.

The research center of Hyundai, the world's fifth-largest carmaker by sales, has predicted weak sales in three major markets next year due to the slowing global economy, trade disputes and rising lending rates.