U.S. sales of Hyundai and Kia rose for a third straight month in October on stronger demand for electrified vehicles and healthy retail sales as the auto industry’s supply shortage gradually eases.
Retail deliveries rose 11 percent to 58,315 in October, Hyundai said. The company prefers more profitable retail business in conditions of limited inventory; fleet deliveries account for just 0.4 percent of year-to-date sales.
“Demand is still there, and our lineup of electric vehicles contributed to record sales this month,” said Randy Parker, CEO of Hyundai Motor America, in a statement.
Hyundai said it had 31,529 cars and light trucks in inventory at the end of October, compared with 24,919 at the end of September and 19,894 at the end of October 2021.
At Kia, sales of electric cars increased by 101 percent. And four models posted double-digit sales growth: Seltos, up 37 percent; Forte, up to 19 percent; The Sorento grew by 8 percent and the Niro by 16 percent.
October Genesis volume fell 18 percent, snapping a streak of 22 consecutive increases.
Toyota Motor Corp., Honda Motor Co., Subaru and Mazda will release October sales later on Tuesday, followed by results for the month from Ford Motor Co. and Volvo on Wednesday. The rest of the industry reports US sales quarterly.
U.S. light vehicle shipments are expected to rise last month from October 2021 levels as inventories slowly improve and demand remains steady, even amid rising interest rates, gasoline prices and the MSRP for new cars that put additional pressure on affordability.
The market is down 13 percent through September and is set to fall for the year after growing 3.3 percent in 2021 following a sharp decline in volume in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic.
With a slight improvement in new vehicle inventories in October, JD Power and LMC Automotive said that retail sales will top one million units at the end of the month for the first time since May 2021. Stock restocking and higher consumer borrowing costs should slow growth, analysts point to rapid price growth in this area. The fall used vehicled steel prices another headwind for the new car market where some consumers have been downgraded.
“We expect some deterioration in unit price and profitability in the coming months,” said Thomas King, JD Power’s president of data and analytics. “However, with nearly 50 percent of new vehicles still selling above MSRP, the industry is readjusting to a more sustainable pricing environment.”
U.S. consumers, “held back by higher interest rates and lower-than-expected job growth,” are expected to contract in the coming months, a key driver of auto demand over the next 12 to 18 months, S&P said. Global Mobility. said late last month.