Hyundai aims for 10% rise in global sales as it shifts to electric cars

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The carmaker behind Hyundai and Kia has said it aims to increase global sales by 10% this year, as the company accelerates its transition to electric vehicles.

Hyundai Motor Company’s new forecasts come despite it having failed to reach its sales targets for 2022 because of supply chain disruptions that resulted in a shortage of semiconductor chips and other vital car parts.

Global supplies of semiconductor chips, which control vehicles’ electronics, have been erratic partly because of Covid restrictions in China, which have hampered manufacturers’ ability to keep up with demand.

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However, the South Korean carmaker said it planned to “expand market share and operate profitability-oriented businesses” in 2023, in part by “flexibly responding to market changes, accelerating its transition to electrification” and responding to new environmental regulations.

The company, which makes the popular Ioniq 5 and EV6 electric cars, said it would also reach its targets by optimising its production processes, logistics and sales by region.

The carmaker, whose Kia and Hyundai cars are among the bestselling vehicle brands in the UK and account for about 11.5% of the market, said it aimed to sell 4.3m vehicles globally in 2023.

That compares with the 3.9m vehicles it sold in 2022. Its sales last year marked a 1.4% increase from 2021 but were short of its 4.01m target that had been revised down in September from 4.3m.

However, Hyundai still cheered its 2022 performance, saying on Tuesday that sales had increased by 2.9% outside Korea “despite the challenging business environment caused by the ongoing pandemic and component supply issues”. That was partly thanks to a recovery in global auto markets after the pandemic. However, sales fell 5.2% in South Korea last year.

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The company said it would soon be introducing its first high-performance electric vehicle, with details unveiled “in the coming months”.

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Hyundai’s optimistic sales forecasts came after the electric carmaker Tesla revealed that it delivered a record high of 1.3m vehicles in 2022. While it marked a 40% increase from a year earlier, signs of a slowdown started to emerge in the final quarter when Tesla delivered 405,000 cars, falling short of analyst forecasts for 430,000 deliveries.

The car industry is expected to face further headwinds this year, with demand slowing as customers fear an economic slowdown and keep a close eye on rising interest rates.

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