SEOUL, Korea, Aug. 1, 2003 - The work slowdowns and series of on again and off again strikes have taken a heavy toll on Hyundai Motor Co.’s domestic sales and exports. July’s domestic sales of 40,208 were the worst since Feb. 1999 when the Korean economy was in the throes of recession brought on by the Asian financial crisis. Even the government’s move to reinvigorate the slowing economy by reintroducing a discount on the special consumption tax failed to perk up domestic car sales. Year-over-year, July sales were down 42 percent.
Customers who are in a buying mood face a mounting backlog of orders: A total of 27,000 units are on back order for domestic customers while 68,000 export orders remain unfilled.
The company managed to export 57,732 units in July, a 44.4 percent drop over the previous month and a 40.6 drop y-o-y. However, in cumulative terms, Jan-Jul exports stand at 685,499 units, up 18.5 percent over the same period last year.
The recently launched Avante XD facelift (sold as the Elantra overseas) saw its sales slip to 3,827 units while backorders swelled to 5,000 units. The model had been the company’s number one domestic seller for the past six months but was bumped from its slot by the Sonata. Passenger car sales reached 17,133 units, down 22.8 percent m-o-m and 47.7 y-o-y.
Sales of SUVs and minivans reached 28,149 units, a decline of 12.7 percent m-o-m. Commercial vehicle sales suffered as well reaching just 12,059 units, a m-o-m drop of 18.1 percent.
As complaints from domestic customers and overseas dealers pile in, Hyundai management is looking forward to a quick resolution of the dispute. Negotiations are set to restart on Aug. 4th when the plants end their scheduled week-long summer break and are set to resume production.
Established in 1969, Hyundai Motor Co. has grown into the Hyundai Automotive Group which includes Kia Motors Corp. and over two dozen auto-related subsidiaries and affiliates. Employing nearly 50,000 people worldwide, Hyundai Motor posted US$21.94 billion in sales in 2002. Hyundai motor vehicles are sold in 166 countries through 4,504 dealerships and showrooms. Further information about Hyundai Motor Co. and its products is available on the Internet at http://www.hyundai-motor.com
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