The-Kia Automotive Group expects to sell a combined 6.33 million vehicles this year, a 10% increase from 2010’s 5.75 million.
Chairman Chung Mong-koo announces the sales target during his New Year’s speech to managers this week. He does not provide separate sales projections forMotor Co. Ltd. and Kia Motors Corp.
“We are working to turn 2011 into a historic year for growth,” Chung is quoted as saying. “In order to achieve our sales goal, we have to be able to quickly respond to changes in the markets through improved integration of our production and sales operations on a global basis.”
Chung notes group sales last year were up 24% from 2009, when the global economy was severely depressed.
With the completion of a new factory in the U.S. and additional plants under way in Russia, China and India, Hyundai-Kia now has an effective global structure, he says. “However, the world changes very fast, and any business that fails to adapt to those changes may be a winner today but a loser tomorrow.”
Some analysts interpret Chung’s remark to mean the group has plans for further plant expansions in the near future.
The chairman also cites vehicle safety as the most important challenge the industry is facing, in addition to developing fuel-efficient and alternate-fuel vehicles, as well as meeting other market demands.
Chung notes both Hyundai and Kia have solid lineups of new products launching in the market this year. Hyundai will release 10 new vehicles, including a new version of the Azera large sedan.