Hyundai, Kia brace for weakest sales growth in more than a decade

MarketsAssociated Press

Hyundai Motor Co. and its affiliate Kia Motors Corp. are forecasting their weakest growth in car sales in more than a decade as competition intensifies and the global economy slows.

Hyundai Motor Group, the world's fifth largest automaker, said Friday the two carmakers aim to sell a combined 8.2 million vehicles this year.

Continue Reading Below

That would be an increase of just 2.5 percent from last year's sales about of about 8 million vehicles. Sales grew 4 percent in each of the past two years.

Chairman Chung Mong-koo told employees in his New Year's speech that the group should cut costs, increase productivity and share components to fend off competition from Japanese rivals boosted by a cheap yen.

Sales of Hyundai and Kia cars grew at double digit rates until 2011.