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Toyota’s Hybrid Dominance Widens Gap with Hyundai in US Sales

Daniel Kim Views  

Last month, Japanese car brands, mainly Toyota, experienced strong sales in the U.S. market, while Korean brands like Hyundai and Kia struggled.

Toyota’s more electrified products widened the gap with Hyundai as local consumer preference for hybrid cars surged. Toyota recorded double-digit growth for the sixth consecutive month, while Hyundai’s previously steep growth curve showed signs of slowing.

Toyota and Lexus sold 211,818 units in April, a 13.7% increase compared to last year’s sales. Hyundai and Kia sold 139,865 units, a 3.5% decrease compared to the previous year’s period.

In April of last year, Hyundai and Kia caught up to Toyota and Lexus, suffering from supply issues to a difference of 41,436 units thanks to the effect of new cars and aggressive promotional activities. However, this month, the sales gap widened again to more than 71,953 units.

In March, Toyota recorded a high growth rate in brand sales, selling 183,339 units, a 15.2% increase compared to the same period last year. Lexus, Toyota’s luxury brand, also sold 28,479 units, a 4.8% increase.

On the other hand, all three brands of the Hyundai Motor Group showed a decrease. Hyundai sold 68,603 units, a 3.1% decrease; Kia sold 65,754 units, a 3.6% decrease; and Genesis sold 5,508 units, a 6% decrease.

Last month, while total U.S. car sales were estimated to have decreased by 2%, Toyota’s strong performance resulted from increasing supply in response to the surging local demand for hybrid cars.

As of March, U.S. hybrid car sales increased by 29.7% compared to last year’s period, reaching 122,332 units. Toyota holds half of the market share in total hybrid car sales.

While Hyundai also broke through 10,000 units in U.S. hybrid car monthly sales for the first time in April and defended its sales volume in electrified models, it still lags behind Toyota, which has introduced hybrid models in almost all of its product lines. In particular, unlike Lexus, which has hybrid models in nearly all its product lines, Hyundai’s luxury brand Genesis does not offer hybrid models other than electric cars.

To respond to the demand for hybrid cars in the U.S., Hyundai has confirmed additional hybrid car production at its new dedicated electric car plant (HMGMA) in Georgia, which will be operational in the fourth quarter of this year.

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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