sets ambitious goals and expresses a positive outlook for 2013 in a presentation to industry analysts ahead of the auto maker’s annual shareholders meeting.
Those goals include improving cost structures worldwide. The number of vehicle models will increase to 40, with 33 of them derived from just six basic platforms.’s global portfolio two years ago comprised 32 vehicles built using 18 different platforms.
Hyundai also says vehicle-development time this year will be reduced to just 24 months. The benchmark of 40 months from design approval to production was set in 2002, and development time has decreased each year since then.
For 2013 the global utilization rate for Hyundai production facilities worldwide is projected at 102.4%, with consistently low inventories maintained in all markets.
Hyundai reports 2012 global sales, including its home market of South Korea, of 4.41 million units and anticipates a 5.7% gain this year to 4.66 million units. The auto maker aims for 2.8 million deliveries to overseas markets, up 12.4% compared with year-ago.
Production of vehicles built at Hyundai’s U.S. plant in Montgomery, AL, topped 361,000 units last year, according to WardsAuto data, and output is projected to rise 7.4% this year to 388,000, the auto maker says in its presentation to analysts.
Hyundai’s U.S. sales, including imports, are seen increasing 4.4% to 734,000 units from WardsAuto’s tally of 703,007 in 2012. Hyundai America sales chief Bob Pradzinski says the parent company has capped its allotment of vehicles to U.S. dealers at 734,000, effectively reducing the auto maker’s market share as overall U.S. deliveries grow.
Production capacity in all other markets stays relatively constant in 2013, except in Turkey, where annual capacity will double to 200,000 units from 100,000, Hyundai tells the analysts.
Capacity remains steady in Brazil, where a new plant was launched in 2012 with annual capacity of 150,000 units. Targeted production in the country in 2013is expected to equal the full 150,000 units of production, a 452% increase over 27,000 last year, the auto maker says.
Hyundai does not offer an estimate of domestic sales for 2013. Deliveries fell 2.3% to 667,777 units last year, compared with 683,500 in 2011, WardsAuto data indicates. The auto maker’s market share in Korea was 50.5% in 2009, then tumbled to 45% in 2010 before recovering to 46.4% in 2011 and 47.3% in 2012.
Profitability will be enhanced through stepped-up marketing of premium brands and maintaining or increasing the average selling price of Hyundai vehicles globally, analysts are told.
The average selling price in all markets has been rising for the past three to four years and will continue to do so in 2013 as larger premium vehicles and multipurpose and SUV volumes increase, Hyundai says. Increased availability and marketing of high-end options also are boosting prices.
In the U.S., incentive discount pricing is trending downward, dropping from about $2,400 in 2009 to just $946 in 2012, thus enhancing profit margins on all vehicles sold, Hyundai says.
The auto maker has established a global product mix that favors higher-priced vehicles, analysts are told. Of Hyundai’s total global portfolio, small and compact vehicles in the A, B and C classes account for 55.3% of sales; larger, more profitable D-, E- and F-class vehicles, 18.3%; and recreational vehicles, 18.9%.
New models scheduled for release in the U.S. this year include the new Santa Fe 7-seat cross/utility vehicle and upgraded Equus premium sedan in the first quarter, an upgraded Tucson CUV in the second quarter and an upgraded Elantra compact sedan in the final quarter, the auto maker says.
These efforts will help bolster both sales growth and revenue in the U.S. market, Hyundai says. Deliveries last year included 296,000 small and compact cars; 277,000 midsize and large cars; and 128,000 utility vehicles of various types.
Hyundai aims to increase its penetration in China, where its Beijing Hyundai Motor joint venture holds a 6.7% share of the market. Sister brand Kia’s JVs claim a 3.8% share.
Beijing Hyundai plans to increase its dealer network from 802 to 860 by year’s end, and the JV is working to improve customer service and brand image. The auto maker looks to boost sales with the introduction of a new D-segment sedan in the last quarter.
In Europe, Hyundai’s strategy includes enhancement of its SUV segment through introduction of the Santa Fe Long Body in the second quarter and the new ix35 CUV powered by the recently developed 166 hp Nu 2.0L GDI engine in the third quarter. Hyundai plans to launch its i10 small city car in Europe in the fourth quarter.
Hyundai also is increasing D-segment fleet sales in Europe, developing a new fleet financing system and expanding fleet-business dealers from 12,430 to 13,500, analysts learn.
The auto maker is trying to shore up sales in its home market by offering deep discount purchase programs covering most vehicles. Hyundai also is trying to upgrade and expand its sales and service network in Korea.
To improve brand credibility, Hyundai is going head-to-head against imports, particularly German brands. The auto maker last year opened seven special showrooms where upscale Hyundai vehicles were displayed alongside foreign makes. Both the Hyundai models and imports can be test-driven by potential customers.
Hyundai announced last week that the program has been extended to nine showrooms, with its high-end vehicles matched on the floor with competing brands, such as the Sonata alongside theCamry and the Genesis displayed with the Mercedes E-Class. The comparison program runs through April.