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[SEOUL] Hyundai Motor Co aims to sell 5.08 million vehicles globally in 2017, the South Korean company said on Monday, up slightly from its 2016 goal.
With emerging markets such as Russia stabilising, and with Hyundai and affiliate Kia Motors gearing up to boost vehicle supply to the United States and China, sales could get a lift this year.
Hyundai Motor likely clocked its fourth straight annual profit decline last year, hurt by its higher exposure to weak emerging markets, and a product line-up that features more sedans than sport utility vehicles, just as SUVs have become more popular across many global markets.
Yoon Yeo-Chul, vice-chairman of Hyundai Motor, told employees in Seoul on Monday he expected competition to intensify this year as the global auto market stagnates because of economic uncertainty.
Analysts have expected Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors would forecast a 2017 global sales rebound after missing their annual sales target for a second year in a row last year on weak auto demand in emerging markets.
Hyundai Motor said in a regulatory filing it planned to sell 4.4 million vehicles overseas and another 683,000 vehicles domestically in 2017. The firm set a 2016 total sales target of 5.01 million but did not disclose actual sales for last year.
Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors plan to add capacity in China and Mexico this year, just as those markets, as well as the United States, are seen slowing down, likely pressuring margins.
Hyundai Motor shares fell for a third straight year in 2016, down 2 per cent versus the wider market's 3 per cent gain. Kia Motors shares slumped 25 per cent last year, making them the worst-performing stock among major car makers in the world.