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O.C. automakers report solid June sales

Hyundai, Kia, Mazda report satisfying increases ahead of summer sales season

by Caitlin AdamsPublished: July 05, 2012 02:15 PM

Four of Orange County’s five automakers reported increases in monthly sales for June, improving over the last several months’ of selling. Automakers also released their mid-year updates, reporting on the first six months’ sales for 2012.

Costa Mesa’s Hyundai Motor America had a lot of numbers to brag about, noting that last month marked its best ever June sales record, improving over the same month in 2011 by 8 percent. A total of 63,813 autos were sold during the month. Cumulative sales for the first half of 2012 were up 10 percent over last year, amounting to a total 356,669 vehicles sold during the period.

"We expect continued sales growth during the robust summer selling season, with help from three recent and extremely exciting new additions to our line-up of industry-leading fuel-efficient vehicles:  our all-new Veloster Turbo, the Elantra GT and Elantra Coupe," said Dave Zuchowski, executive vice president of sales for Hyundai.

Irvine-based Kia Motors America continued to rake in record-setting sales, noting yet another company best for June’s sales numbers. During the month, the brand reported a total of 51,326 vehicles sold, improving over the same period in 2012 by 13.9 percent. The automaker is inching towards a two-year streak of monthly sales records, with June marking the 22nd consecutive month.

"Kia has been setting one sales record after another for nearly two years, and the ongoing popularity of our two U.S.-built products as well as the Soul have attracted new customers to our showrooms and dramatically raised awareness, perception and consideration for the brand in a very short period of time," said Byung Mo Ahn, group president and CEO of KMA and Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia, the brand’s U.S.-based manufacturing plant.  "Kia offers discerning shoppers a standout combination of world-class design and quality, outstanding fuel efficiency, advanced technologies and tremendous value, and with more new products arriving in the next year, we will continue to draw new customers into our showrooms to look at Kia for the first time.

June sales also brought the second-quarter sales total to 150,647 vehicles, the first time the brand has sold more than 150,000 units within a three-month period. Year-to-date numbers show a similar boost, with the first six months of sales amounting to 288,707 autos, an increase of 17.8 percent over the same period in 2011.

Kia also noted that among its June numbers, models that provide an estimated 30 mpg highway fuel efficiency rating accounted for 78 percent of sales.

Mazda North American Operations, based in Irvine, also posted increased sales for June, marking a 3.1 increase over the same month last year. Last month’s total sales amounted to 19,911 vehicles nationwide. The first six month of 2012 also brought increased sales, with a 17.5 surge over 2011’s midyear numbers, with 143,797 autos sold during the period. The automaker also says it is ramping up production of its SkyActiv powertrain technology at its engine plant in Japan to meet the growing consumer demand for the CX-5 and certain Mazda3 models.

Mitsubishi Motors North America, headquartered in Cypress, reported its June sales of 5,411 units during the month, marking a heavy fall of 34.8 percent compared to the same month last year. Year-to-date sales were similarly impacted, with 32,873 vehicles sold during the first six months of 2012, a decline of 25.5 percent compared to the same period in 2011. Yoichi Yokozawa, president and CEO of MMNA, said that the automaker’s sales are currently impacted by models no longer in production, and that the trend is likely to continue for a few more months. The company noted a high point in sales is the growing popularity of its Outlander Sport CUV model, which it intends to begin manufacturing in the U.S.

Brea-based American Suzuki Motor Corporation reported that its sales increased by 1 percent over last year during June, with a total of 2,299 autos sold during the period. The company did not make its midyear sales numbers available.

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