Hyundai and Kia announced double-digit increases in US auto sales for August compared to the same month last year. The Korean brands have seen five months of declines related to inventory shortages. However, a strong demand for crossovers and electric vehicles and inventory numbers that have started to ease has helped the companies turn the tide.
Volume at Hyundai rose 14%, while Kia was up 22%. Randy Parker, CEO of Hyundai Motor America, said, “We’re seeing inventory begin to rebound, which resulted in strong sales this month.” Hyundai ended August with 19,209 cars and light trucks in its US inventory, up from the 14,784 at the end of July. At the end of August 2021, the company had 39,357 vehicles in stock.
According to Cox Automotive data, Kia set a record in August with 66,089 deliveries. The company has the lowest days’ supply of vehicles, but Vice President of Sales Operations for Kia America, Eric Watson, said, “We are optimistic that production through the end of the year will improve.”
US light-vehicle deliveries are expected to increase between 3.6 and 4.6% across the industry. Since last summer, it will mark the first monthly increase, year over year.
Based on forecasts, the seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) is expected to remain between 13.1 to 13.3 million. The SAAR has remained consistently below 15 million since July 2021, primarily due to struggling inventory levels.
August also marked the 10th consecutive month retail inventory closed below 900,000 units. 55% of vehicles sold within ten days of reaching dealerships in August, and a significant portion were sold before ever reaching dealerships. Transaction prices for new cars are expected to reach a record high of $46,259 in August, which is a 12% increase over August 2021.
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