A worker assembles a Hyundai Motor vehicle at the firm’s Alabama factory. During the first six months of this year, Hyundai logged record sales in the United States. Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor

Korean automaker cruising well in the world’s No. 2 market

South Korea’s Hyundai Motor chalked up record sales in the United States during the first half of this year, nudging past Stellantis to rank No. 4 in the market.

The Seoul-based automaker noted on July 4 that it had sold more than 82,000 vehicles in the U.S. market during the January-June period, up 16.7 percent from a year ago.

The sales of Hyundai amounted to 525,847 vehicles, up 15.2 percent year-on-year, while those of its affiliated brand Kia stood at 394,333, up 18.3 percent.

Hyundai and Kia sold 133,171 eco-friendly automobiles during the six-month period, up 46.8 percent from a year before.

As Stellantis announced its first-half sales of less than 810,000 vehicles in the U.S., Hyundai is expected to take fourth place, following General Motors, Toyota, and Ford.

The three corporations will disclose their first-half performance later this week.

Observers expected that Hyundai would cruise well in the U.S. market for the time being, thanks to its popularity of eco-friendly models like electric vehicles and hybrid cars.

“Despite the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), Hyundai’s eco-friendly vehicles fared well in the U.S. market, racking up record sales in the previous months,” Daelim University automotive professor Kim Pil-soo said.

“That is a very encouraging signal for Hyundai at a time when a mounting number of U.S. motorists opt for electric cars or hybrid models.”

Under the guidelines of the IRA, which went into effect last year, automobiles should be assembled in North America to qualify for tax credits.

As a result, many of Hyundai’s electric cars were disqualified from the tax credit as they were manufactured in Korea.

The company plans to wrap up its U.S. assembly lines for electric cars in 2025.

Kevin Chung studied literature in Seoul. He is interested in various areas. He can be reached at or 82-2-6956-6698.