Hyundai Motor sets target of 7 mil. car sales for 2012


SEOUL–South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Group said Monday it aims to sell a record seven million cars worldwide in 2012 by strengthening production and sales abroad to outpace competitors amid the global slowdown. Group chairman Chung Mong-Koo, in a New Year’s message to employees, said the world’s auto industry would see growth stagnate this year and competition intensify as the downturn cuts demand. “We should lay the groundwork to become a global leading player by firming up management,” he said, calling for closer cooperation between its sales and production networks abroad.

Hyundai, South Korea’s largest automaker, and its smaller affiliate Kia together form the world’s fifth-largest carmaking group by sales. The group sold 6.6 million cars worldwide in 2011, Chung said, adding its 30 overseas plants in nine countries, including new factories in Beijing and Brazil, would reach full capacity in 2012. “We will continually expand investment … to develop environmentally-friendly vehicles and secure latest technologies in electronics engineering,” he said.