Orange County Business Journal

Hyundai, Kia Lead Automakers on November Sales

Kari Hamanaka Thursday, December 1, 2011

Costa Mesa-based Hyundai Motor America Inc. sold 49,610 vehicles in November, up 22% from a year earlier.

Hyundai, part of South Korea’s Hyundai Kia Automotive Group, is the largest automaker with operations here. Costa Mesa is Hyundai’s temporary headquarters while the company’s new Fountain Valley office campus is under construction.

Hyundai’s November sales received a boost from Black Friday, the traditional day-after Thanksgiving kickoff to the holiday selling season.

“The Thanksgiving holiday weekend, including Black Friday, proved to be a very strong selling period and helped us break our all-time November sales record,” said Hyundai Executive Vice President of National Sales Dave Zuchowski.

Irvine-based Kia Motors America Inc., Hyundai’s sister company, saw sales up 39.1% to 37,007 vehicles in November.

Auto sales nationally also appeared bright.

Automakers here sold 994,721 vehicles in November, up 14% from a year earlier, according to Woodcliff Lake, N.J.-based auto researcher Autodata Corp.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales—a key industry metric projecting sales for the year—reached 13.6 million at the end of October. That’s the highest the rate has been all year and the third straight month sales surpassed 13 million vehicles.

Irvine-based Mazda North American Operations rounded out the three automakers here in terms of October sales.

Mazda saw sales rise 20.4% to 18,432 vehicles in November.

Other Orange County-based automakers didn’t fare as well.

Cypress-based Mitsubishi Motors North America’s sales fell 13% from a year earlier to 3,735 vehicles.

The automaker is hoping for a boost with its new electric vehicle, the i. Deliveries to West Coast dealers began last month. December is expected to reflect the first month of the i sales.

Brea-based American Suzuki Motor Corp. saw its sales drop 22% in November to 1,822 vehicles.

Fewer buyer incentives and fleet sales contributed to the decline, according to the company.