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Hyundai Motor hits milestone of 15 million US vehicle sales

Dec. 22, 2022 - 11:34 By Lee Seung-ku
West Herr Automotive Group president Scott Bieler (right), salesman Steve Fessel (left) and general manager Frank Comisso (second from left) present customers James and Wende Tuskes (third and fourth from left), who purchased Hyundai Motor America's 15 millionth vehicle, with a check for the first year of payments on their all-new Hyundai Tucson in Williamsville, New York, Wednesday. (Hyundai Motor America)

Cumulative sales of Hyundai Motor vehicles in the United States since the automaker began operations there 36 years ago reached 15 million on Wednesday, according to data presented by the automaker on Thursday.

Hyundai Motor America, the automaker’s US subsidiary, delivered on Wednesday its 15 millionth vehicle to a customer at the West Herr Hyundai dealer in Williamsville, New York.

Hyundai Motor kicked off its US operations in 1986 when it exported its Excel model. The Excel was Hyundai’s first forward-driving subcompact vehicle, manufactured at the automaker’s Ulsan plant between 1985-1994.

The automaker brought its manufacturing capabilities to the US in 2005 when it built a factory in Montgomery, Alabama.

On the back of supply chain advantages from the Montgomery facility, Hyundai Motor recorded 5 million cumulative unit sales in 2007, and passed the 10 million-mark in 2015.

Hyundai’s most-sold model in the US was its compact car Avante, sold under the name Elantra. A total of 3.53 million units were sold as of December since it was first introduced to the US auto market in 1991, according to the Korean automaker.

Following Avante on the list of bestselling Hyundai cars is the company’s midsize sedan Sonata, sports utility vehicle Santa Fe, subcompact car Accent and SUV Tucson. The models recorded 3.14 million, 1.91 million, and 1.34 million units in cumulative sales, respectively.

The automaker said it was noteworthy that it began its US operations on the basis of midsize sedans and compact cars, but 36 years later its SUVs were making the list of most-sold models.

Hyundai is continuing the diversification of its lineup in the US, with recent operations focusing on eco-friendly and electric vehicles, the carmaker added.

"Over the past 36 years, Hyundai has grown its product portfolio, its manufacturing footprint in America and its market share, becoming the fifth-highest selling brand this year. We are excited to see more growth in 2023 and beyond – particularly as we continue to expand our electric vehicle product line and manufacturing," said Hyundai Motor America CEO Randy Parker.

Meanwhile, Hyundai broke ground for a new EV plant in the US state of Georgia in October.