Hyundai Motor, Kia expect auto sales to jump nearly 10% in 2023 – Reuters

SEOUL, Jan 3 (Reuters) – South Korea's Hyundai Motor Co (005380.KS) and affiliate Kia Corp (000270.KS) forecast on Tuesday that their combined global sales will jump nearly 10% in 2023, even as last year's sales fell short of target due to supply chain disruptions.
The companies sold 6.85 million vehicles in 2022, about 4% less than their combined target of 7.16 million vehicles, largely due to problems including chip and component shortages.
They said they would target global sales of 7.52 million vehicles this year.
"Hyundai plans to expand market share and operate profitability-oriented businesses by flexibly responding to market changes, accelerating its transition to electrification, responding to global environmental regulations, and optimising production, logistics and sales by region," Hyundai Motor said in a statement.
[1/2] The logo of Hyundai Motors is seen on a steering wheel of a all-new Sonata sedan on display at the company's headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, March 22, 2019. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
Analysts said the sales targets of the two companies for this year appear to be aggressive but achievable, considering pent-up demand for vehicles.
"Hyundai Motor and Kia are still seeing relatively higher back orders of vehicles and car buyers are still waiting in line to buy cars despite the recent economic environment…with that demand in the picture, the companies appear to be confident," said Kim Gwi-yeon, an analyst at Daishin Securities.
Kim, however, added that economic obstacles such as high interest rates could dampen car sales, especially in the second half of the year after pent-up demand softens.
Shares of Hyundai Motor and Kia closed up 1.3% and 1.5% respectively, versus a 0.3% fall in the benchmark market KOSPI (.KS11).
In October, Hyundai Motor cut its 2022 global sales target by about 7% to 4.01 million vehicles from 4.32 million vehicles.
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Daimler Truck reported on Thursday a 14.2% increase in unit sales in 2022 to 520,291 units, with the strongest growth in Europe at 17.7% even as supply chain shortages limited availability of certain components.
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