Hyundai’s flagship midsize sedan, the Sonata, set a new record for annual sales earlier this week. It passed the 225,961 units that it sold last year, which was also a new record at that time.
John Krafcik, president and CEO, Hyundai Motors America said that the design changes made to the Sonata in 2010 (fuel efficiency, safety, and durability) paved the way for the sales records.
He went on to say that he believed that the Sonata may have been in some way responsible for the latest generation of midsize sedans now arriving on the market.
He was also pleased that the growth of the midsize market has done nothing to hurt the Sonata, as it sits third behind the Camry and Accord.
2012 Sonata GLS, turbo, hybrid sales mix
Each of the Sonata models performed well, demonstrating a solid sales mix, driven in part by the segment-first 4-cylinder powertrain.
Through the first 11 months of 2012, the sales of the Sonata were as follows: 52% GLS, 18% SE, 22% Limited, and 8% Hybrid.
There was a lot to like for performance enthusiasts, with the 274-horsepower 2.0T turbo-charged engine, available on the SE and Limited, accounting for 13% of retail sales.
The midsize segment as a whole received a significant 20% sales growth, powered in large part by fleet sales.
It should be noted that the Sonata’s record numbers come despite it having a lower fleet and rental car sales added to the mix. That number went down from 11% last year to an estimated 9% in 2012.
The only car in the segment that had a lower fleet mix than the Sonata was the Honda Accord.
Fleet sales will account for roughly 21% of all midsize car sales in 2012. Just about every one of Hyundai’s competitors increased sales to fleet and rental companies throughout the year, which even included their newer models.
The Sonata’s 2012 sales success is all the more impressive when you consider that it was achieved with lower fleet sales and incentives spending.
The result was one of the highest residuals in the segment. Figures released by Autodata show that Sonata incentive spending was the lowest among the top 10 selling midsize sedans, coming in at about $1,350 per car. That is over 40% below the segment average.
Hyundai Elantra sales record
As mentioned earlier, it wasn’t just the Sonata that performed well on the sales front for Hyundai automobile brand.
The 2012 Hyundai Elantra set a new sales record this year by surpassing the previous record of 186,361 units. With still a few days to go until the end of the year, the Elantra has a shot at becoming the second model to top 200,000 units sold in 2012.
The other model is of course the Sonata, with both vehicles current built at the Alabama production plant.
John Krafcik, president and CEO, Hyundai Motor America, said that the addition of a third shift at the Alabama plant has allowed the company to meet the high demand for the Elantra.
He spoke about how the customers loved the ALG class-leading value of the car, as well as the bold design and great value. He hopes that the use of a third shift for the duration of 2013 will allow more American car buyers to discover the Elantra.