Hyundai, Kia top U.S. compact CUV market
Hyundai Motor Co. and its affiliate Kia Motors Corp. ranked No. 1 in the U.S. compact crossover utility vehicle market in the first eight months of this year, a report showed Wednesday.
The report released by Autodata Corp., a U.S.-based automotive statistical data and market intelligence provider, said the two South Korean carmakers outsold such rivals as Chevrolet, Jeep and Toyota.
A CUV is a vehicle that merges the advantages of a sport utility vehicle with those of a conventional passenger vehicle.
These vehicles have high ground clearance, independent rear suspension, car-like handling and good fuel economy.
The report said combined sales of Hyundai and Kia, the two largest carmakers in South Korea, reached 140,381 in the January-August period.
Of the total, Hyundai’s Santa Fe compact CUV sold 51,768 units with sales of Kia’s Sorento R reaching 88,613 vehicles.
Chevrolet sales hit 129,538 units followed by Jeep which sold 119,151 vehicles. Sales of compact crossovers made by Japan’s Toyota reached 114,857 units.
The U.S. market for compact CUVs was led by Toyota in 2009 and 2010, with sales figures for Hyundai and Kia reaching fifth place in 2009 but moving up to second place last year.
Autodata said that Hyundai and Kia, flagship companies of the world’s fifth largest carmaker Hyundai Motor Group, became best sellers in the United States in May and have not let go of the lead ever since.
The U.S. market for compact CUVs, meanwhile, has grown steadily in recent years with the vehicles accounting for 10.0 percent of all passenger cars sold last year, up from 6.0 percent and 7.6 percent in 2008 and 2009, respectively.