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Hyundai, Kia maintain 8 pct market share in U.S. for 2 consecutive month

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Hyundai Motor Co. and its smaller affiliate Kia Motors Corp. recently have shown a solid performance in the United States on the back of strong SUV sales, industry data showed Sunday, as their combined market share topped 8 percent in the world's No. 2 auto market for consecutive months for the first time in nearly three years.

Hyundai and Kia logged a combined 8.1 percent in the U.S. in May, up 0.2 percentage point from a year earlier, according to industry sources. It followed their April market share of 8.2 percent.

This was the first time since November 2016 that Hyundai and Kia's combined market share in the U.S. stayed at the 8 percent level for two consecutive months.

Hyundai and Kia's combined market share in May was the seventh largest behind Nissan-Mitsubishi's 8.9 percent. Subaru came in eighth with a 4 percent share, according to the sources.

South Korea's two largest automakers last month sold 128,496 units combined in the U.S., up 2.4 percent from a year ago. Hyundai's sales rose 3.6 percent on-year to 68,434, while Kia's sales inched up 1 percent on-year to 60,062 units.

SUV sales led the two automakers' solid performance in the U.S. Hyundai enjoyed strong sales of the Tucson, Santa Fe and Kona SUVs, while Kia said its Telluride SUV sales are also rising.

Their combined sales through May increased 3.4 percent in the U.S. from a year ago, and their market share was 7.6 percent, up 0.4 percentage point over the cited period.

"Although auto demand in the U.S. market appears to be negative, Hyundai and Kia are likely to increase their market share with new models like the new Palisade SUV and the new Sonata sedan that will come out this summer," said Song Sun-jae, an analyst at Hana Financial Investment Co.

Meanwhile, despite solid U.S. sales, Hyundai and Kia's overall overseas sales declined in May due to low demand from China and emerging markets.

Hyundai's overseas sales fell 11 percent on-year to 289,759 units last month, while Kia saw its overseas sales drop 2.2 percent to 196,059 units.
 

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