Orange County Business Journal

Hyundai, Kia Set Monthly Sales Records

Kari Hamanaka Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Orange County automakers saw March sales rise along with the rest of the nation despite rising fuel costs.

Hyundai Motor America Inc., the largest automaker with operations based here, reported its highest monthly sales by vehicle count in the company’s history last month.

Hyundai, which has temporary headquarters in Costa Mesa while its Fountain Valley office campus is being built, reported 69,728 vehicles sold last month, up 13% from a year earlier.

Irvine-based Kia Motors America Inc., which shares a parent with Hyundai in South Korea’s Hyundai Kia Automotive Group, also saw a record-setting month.

Kia sold 57,505 vehicles, up 30.2% from a year earlier.

Last month marked the first time Kia’s monthly sales passed the 50,000-vehicle mark.

Other automakers here to see sales gains last month included Irvine-based Mazda North American Operations, which sold 32,376 vehicles, up 4.8% from a year earlier.

Brea-based American Suzuki Motor Corp. sold 2,631 vehicles, up 5% from a year earlier.

Cypress-based Mitsubishi Motors North America was the only automaker based here to see its March sales fall 5.3% from a year earlier to 7,160.

The local trend is in line with national sales for the month with U.S. March sales topping 1.4 million, up 16.7% from a year earlier, according to Woodcliff Lake, NJ-based Autodata Corp.’s automotive researcher Motor Intelligence.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate—a key industry measure estimating total sales for the year—was 14.4 million last month.