Hyundai Motor Co. and its affiliate Kia Corp.’s environment friendly vehicle exports jumped 45 percent in the January-May period from a year earlier on strong demand for their hybrid sport utility vehicles.
Hyundai and Kia shipped a combined 145,781 eco-friendly vehicles in the first five months, up from 100,691 units in the year-ago period, according to data from the Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association (KAMA).
Increased overseas sales of hybrid models based on Hyundai’s Santa Fe and Tucson SUV and Kia’s Sorento SUV drove up their five-month shipments, the companies said.
Non-combustion engine models, such as Kia’s Niro electric vehicle and Hyundai’s all-electric IONIQ 5 crossover utility vehicle, also helped boost sales in the five-month period.
Given the current sales pace, Hyundai and Kia’s eco-friendly car exports are expected to exceed 300,000 units this year.
In the five months, the carmakers’ hybrid vehicle exports soared 71 percent to 80,109 units from 46,888 a year earlier. Of them, SUV models accounted for more than 70 percent, KAMA data showed.
Hyundai and Kia together form the world’s fifth-biggest carmaker by sales.