South Korean car giant Hyundai and its affiliate Kia are forecasting their weakest growth in car sales in more than a decade as competition intensifies and the global economy slows.
Hyundai Motor Group, the world’s fifth largest car maker, said the two firms aimed to sell a combined 8.2 million vehicles this year – an increase of just 2.5% from last year’s sales about of about eight million vehicles. Sales grew 4% in each of the past two years.
Chairman Chung Mong-koo told employees in his New Year’s speech that the group should cut costs, increase productivity and share components to fend off competition from Japanese rivals boosted by a cheap yen.
Sales of Hyundai and Kia cars grew at double digit rates until 2011.