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Saturday, January 03, 2015, Poush 20, 1421, Robiul Awal 11, 1436 Hijr

Hyundai-Kia see 2015 sales growth weakest in 12 years
Published : Saturday, 3 January, 2015,  Time : 12:00 AM,  View Count : 6

SEOUL, Jan 1: Hyundai Motor Co (005380.KS) and affiliate Kia Motors Corp (000270.KS) forecast sales this year to grow at the slowest pace since 2003, hampered by capacity constraints and a weaker yen that is likely to give Japanese rivals an edge in key markets.
Hyundai and Kia, together the world's fifth largest automaker by sales, said on Friday they aim to sell 8.2 million vehicles in 2015 - a 2.5 per cent increase from a year ago and the smallest rise since 2003, when sales grew 2 per cent, company data shows.
The expansion - in line with the 8.27 million average forecast of five analysts polled by Reuters - also lags the 3.9 per cent increase in vehicle sales forecast for the global market for this year.
"While low growth continues for the world economy, political uncertainty grows in emerging markets and competition is intensifying among automakers," Chung Mong-koo, chairman of the family-run conglomerate, said in a statement.
Hyundai-Kia have seen sales growth slow since Chung put in place an unofficial moratorium on new factories about two years ago to focus on quality.
The duo, however, said in 2014 that they would build factories in China and Mexico to expand their overall capacity, but production from these plants will not start until later next year.
Hyundai's internal think-tank said last week it expected the competition from Japanese automakers to remain strong in 2015, especially with as the Japanese government is likely to maintain its policy of keeping the yen weak to boost exports.    ?Reuters

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