Hyundai and Kia posted lower U.S. sales in December for the fifth straight month, with tight inventories stemming from supply chain disruptions dealing a final blow as the auto industry was expected to close out 2021 on a down note.
Hyundai said volume slid 23 percent last month, its biggest drop of the year, with retail deliveries off 11 percent.
The company said dealer stockpiles stood at 21,420 cars and light trucks at the end of December, up from Nov.’s tally of 17,096 but down sharply from 143,741 in December 2020. The company’s 2021 sales increased 19 percent to 738,081, with record retail volume of 694,349.
Sales last month fell 9.8 percent at Kia, it’s biggest drop of the final stretch of 2021, but the company still set a U.S. sales record of 701,416 for the year on strong first-half volume.
Genesis’ December volume increased 70 percent to 4,999, with 2021 deliveries rising 203 percent to a record 49,621.
Most other automakers are scheduled to release December and fourth-quarter sales later Tuesday.
Toyota Motor Corp., even with double-digit volume declines in recent months, is on track to surpass General Motors, the market leader for decades dating to the Great Depression, in U.S. sales for 2021.
Ford Motor Co. will release December results on Wednesday, followed by Mercedes-Benz on Friday and Jaguar Land Rover later in the month.