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AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY NEWS
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O.C. automakers report April sales gains

Hyundai, Mitsubishi, others see increases over the same time in 2010.

By Kristen SchottPublished: May 03, 2011 02:57 PM

Sales continue to rise among Orange County automakers, with all five locally based brands experiencing gains in April over the same time last year.

Last month's results are a further indicator of improvement in the O.C. vehicle market. A recent Orange County Automobile Dealers Association first-quarter report suggests that the local industry's recovery is gaining steam due to positive factors such as increasing household net worth and high pent-up demand. (For more on the story, click here.)

In terms of numbers, Fountain Valley-based Hyundai Motor America maintained its spot as the top seller among locally based automakers – a record 61,754 cars rolled off the lots in April, representing a 40 percent uptick over the same month in 2010. However, Cypress-based Mitsubishi Motors North America reported the largest percentage increase among local carmakers. The brand saw a massive 106 percent spike in year-over-year sales, with 8,081 vehicles purchased.

Mitsubishi's results were boosted by continued interest in its Outlander Sport model; 1,402 of those autos sold in April, marking the seventh consecutive month of growth since the car was introduced in the fall.

Sustained progress is very important,” said MMNA President & CEO Yoichi Yokozawa. “We will launch a new advertising campaign for Outlander and Outlander Sport this month to increase this tremendous momentum.”

Irvine-based Kia Motors America also achieved record monthly sales of 47,074, up 56.7 percent over April 2010. The company attributes the uptick to its "stylish, fuel-efficient and high-quality vehicles," said Byung Mo Ahn, group president and CEO of KMA and Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia.

Irvine-based Mazda North American Operations and Brea-based American Suzuki Motor Corp. reported gains in April over the same time last year, as well.

In addition, all the local automakers reported upticks for the first four months of 2011 over 2010.

Here's a breakdown of the local results:

Fountain Valley-based Hyundai Motor America
April sales: 61,754
April 2010 sales: 44,023
Increase: 40 percent
Year-to-date 2011: 204,374
Year-to-date 2010: 155,532
Increase 31 percent

Irvine-based Kia Motors America
April sales: 47,074
April 2010 sales: 30,036
Increase: 56.7 percent
Year-to-date 2011: 151,848
Year-to-date 2010: 106,732
Increase: 42.3 percent

Irvine-based Mazda North American Operations
April sales: 20,638
April 2010 sales: 18,935
Increase: 9 percent
Year-to-date 2011: 85,197
Year-to-date 2010: 74,876
Increase: 13.8 percent

Cypress-based Mitsubishi Motors North America
April sales: 8,081
April 2010 sales: 3,932
Increase: 106 percent
Year-to-date 2011: 28,248
Year-to-date 2010: 17,555
Increase: 60.9 percent

Brea-based American Suzuki Motor Corp.
April sales: 2,131
April 2010 sales: 1,950
Increase: 9 percent
Year-to-date 2011: 8,834
Year-to-date 2010: 7,611
Increase: 16 percent

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Report: O.C.'s auto market gains traction in Q1

'OC METRO Minute,' May 2: O.C.'s auto industry sees improvement
Mazda consolidates U.S. operations, appoints new senior VP