Despite the expected slump in the United State car market, Hyundai is still setting its 2008 goal at a rather lofty 500,000 vehicles. Last year, the Korean carmaker set the initial goal of American sales at 550,000, but adjusted it to 512,000 during the year. However, Hyundai didn`t reach its 2007 goal, selling only 467,009 autos.
`We`ve been knocking at the door for 500,000 units for three years` Dave Zuchowski, the vice president of sales at Hyundai Motor America, reported to the Automotive News. `We think we can do it this year. Our rallying cry is 500,000 units, regardless of what the industry is doing`.
Hyundai is hoping to raise its global sales with 20% this year, but will rely strongly on emerging markets for new growth. Unlike the past few years, Korean executives have lowered their unrealistic U.S. market goals. `We spent a lot of time explaining the market situation to the Koreans` says Zuchowski. `I think they realize we can`t get as much sales growth as the emerging markets`.
So, despite the plans, a few Hyundai dealers feel that the carmaker is over-hyping its future Genesis sedan and coupe. `The Genesis sedan and coupe are great-looking cars, but higher prices usually mean less volume` says Gary Micallef, the chairman of the Hyundai Dealer Council. `With the rising prices of fuel, we need to focus on our entry-level vehicles`.
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