Hyundai and Kia global sales benefit from India’s booming car and SUV market in 2023

Following record sales in CY2023, both Hyundai Motor India and Kia India maintain their strong level of contribution to their parent companies’ global sales. Combined Hyundai-Kia sales of 857,111 units up 6.2% YoY but miss their CY2023 target of 873,000 units by 15,889 units.

By Ajit Dalvi calendar 06 Jan 2024 Views icon8963 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
Hyundai and Kia global sales benefit from India’s booming car and SUV market in 2023

With the Indian passenger vehicle market firing on all cylinders in CY2023 with estimated total sales of 4.11 million units, up 5.65% on CY2022’s record 3.89 million units, all the top carmakers in the country have recorded best-ever annual sales including the Hyundai Motor Group’s Indian vehicle manufacturing businesses in the form of Hyundai Motor India and Kia India.

While Hyundai Motor India has recorded all-time high domestic market sales of 602,111 units and 9% YoY growth, Kia India has sold a total of 255,000 units, which makes for flat sales – an additional 434 units in CY2023 – and zero percent YoY growth (CY2022: 254,566 units). The Korean siblings’ combined performance means they have continued their strong contribution to the parent company’s global sales.  

Hyundai-Kia sales in India up 6.2% YoY but miss CY2023 target by just 15,889 units

As is known, the Hyundai Motor Group is well established as the No. 2 passenger vehicle OEM in India. In CY2022, Hyundai Motor Group had set a new benchmark for India market sales in CY2022 – 807,067 units, up 8.8% on CY2021, comprising 552,511 units from Hyundai Motor India (68.45% share) and 254,556 units from Kia India (31.54% share), both of whom had scaled new annual highs.

Between August8-9, 2023 Hyundai Motor Group chairman Euisun Chung visited Hyundai Motor India Engineering located in Hyderabad, the brand’s R&D hub in India, and the automobile plants in Chennai and discussed mid- to long-term growth strategy with local employees.

In August 2023, during Hyundai Motor Group Executive Chairman Euisun Chung’s visit to  India to review the company’s strategy which lays the foundation for its future growth in the Indian market, HMG had outlined a CY2023 domestic market sales target of 873,000 units, 8.2% more than in CY2022.

However, despite both Hyundai and Kia achieving their best-ever annual India wholesales in CY2023, their combined sales of 857,111 units, which marks good growth of 6.2% YoY, has fallen a tad short of the targeted 873,000 units for the year by just 15,889 units.

India, which is currently one of the world’s most promising automotive markets, ranking third behind China and the U.S. The passenger car market, which accounted for a record 3.79 million units (up 23%) in CY2022 and 3.89 million units (up 27%) in FY2023, is expected to exceed 5 million units by 2030. And the Hyundai Motor Group is pressing the accelerator to achieve speedier growth through its two vehicle manufacturing arms in India.

Strong domestic market sales over the past few years have seen Hyundai Motor India and Kia India increase their market share both in the Indian passenger vehicle market as well as their contribution to overall Hyundai Group sales.

Hyundai Motor India surpassed annual sales of 600,000 units for the first time in 2023, increasing its contribution to Hyundai global sales to 14.27 percent.

Hyundai India share of global sales increases to 14.34%

Hyundai’s global sales in CY2023 comprised 4,216,680 vehicles, including 762,077 units in Korea and 3,454,603 units overseas. This constitutes a 6.89% YoY increase (CY2022: 39,44,579 units). Compared to 2022, domestic sales increased by 10.6% and overseas sales by 6.2 percent. Based on this, Hyundai Motor Company has set a goal of selling a total of 4,243,000 vehicles in 2023, including 704,000 units in Korea and 3,539,000 units overseas.
The Indian car and SUV market continues to be a key contribution to Hyundai Motor Group and is among the top-performing global markets for the Korean chaebol. Hyundai Motor India, with its best-ever annual sales of 602,111 units in the domestic market, contributed to 14.27% of Hyundai’s global sales, marginally from the 14% in CY2022 (552,511 units out of 39,44,579 global sales). 

As can be seen from the data table above, Hyundai Motor India’s share of the HMG’s global sales has steadily increased over the years – from 12% in CY2018 to 14.27% in CY2023.

Kia India sold an estimated 255,000 units in CY2023, contributing 8.26% to Kia Corporation's global sales last year. 

Kia India maintains 8% contribution to Kia global sales

Like Hyundai Motor India, Kia India, which kicked off sales in August 2019 as a virtually unknown brand in the domestic market at the time, has over the past four years increased its level of contribution to Kia Corporation’s global sales.

In CY2023, Kia India, which sold 255,000 units, contributed 8.26% to Kia Corporation’s global sales of 3 million units, slightly down on the 8.77% it had accounted for in CY2022. Since its market entry in August 2019 with a single product, Kia India is now a formidable player in India’s passenger vehicle market with four products – the Seltos midsize SUV, Sonet compact SUV, Carens MPVs and the EV6 electric crossover. In the April-November 2023 period, Kia India had a 10.29% share of the booming utility vehicle market and is ranked fifth in the overall passenger vehicle market of 15 players.

In 2023, Kia is targeting global sales of 3.2 million units. By region, Kia expects to sell 585,120 units in Korea and 2.61 million vehicles overseas. It will surely be banking on Kia India to deliver the goods once again this year.

All revved up for 2024 with eight new UVs

Both Hyundai Motor India and Kia India have their growth plans charted out for CY2024. While the Exter compact SUV and the new sixth-generation Verna have acted as a sales accelerator in CY2023 and should maintain the momentum in CY2024, there is a quartet of models planned for this year. On January 16, Hyundai will launch the facelifted Creta, which is the best-selling midsize SUV in India. In CY2023, the Creta had sold nearly 160,000 units and the new model should help further accelerate sales. That’s not all. The Chennai-based car and SUV maker has three other models planned for launch this year – the facelifted Alcazar and Tucson SUVs, and the Creta EV, which will be Hyundai’s first mass-market EV and likely to be revealed around end-2024.

Meanwhile, Kia India plans to launch three new models before end-2024 and also showcase a new sub-four-metre SUV, the Kia Clavis. First off is the facelifted Sonet compact SUV, to be launched in January. It will be followed in May 2024 by Kia’s all-electric EV9 flagship, which has won the 2024 North American Utility Vehicle of the Year award, and the fourth-generation Carnival MPV in the second half of this year. Rounding off 2024 for Kia India will be the Clavis, the new compact SUV will be positioned between the Sonet and Seltos, and come with ICE and all-electric powertrain options. The big news though is that the Clavis is likely to be the first Kia in India with a strong hybrid powertrain option.

With the Indian passenger vehicle market, particularly utility vehicles (UVs), firing on all cylinders, Hyundai Motor Group will be upping the ante in 2024. In the first eight months of FY2024, 1.62 million UVs have been sold and are already 81% of FY2023's record 2 million units. 

Hyundai and Kia have a combined UV market share of 25.95% share in the April-November 2023 period. Will 2024 see the two Korean carmakers, whose new product launch programme rests on UVs this year, accelerate their growth. Watch this space.  


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