Hyundai Motor Co., South Korea's largest carmaker, said Friday that it is targeting to sell 700,000 vehicles in the domestic market this year, up 2.4 percent from 2011.
Hyundai Motor, which sold 683,570 units locally last year, said competition in the domestic market is expected to be fierce this year and a free trade deal with the U.S., expected to go into effect in the next few months, could make foreign-made cars more competitive.
"Imported cars are expected to compete more aggressively for domestic market share so Hyundai must counter by offering consumers premium services and devise new marketing ideas," Hyundai vice chairman Chung Eui-sun said at a meeting of senior executives in Seoul.
Hyundai, which controlled about 46 percent of the domestic market last year, said it had sold 4.06 million cars worldwide in 2011, up 13 percent from the previous year.
Kia Motors Corp., Hyundai's smaller affiliate, said it will seek a sales gain of around 1.4 percent to 500,000 units this year from 493,003 vehicles sold in 2011. This target should allow it to hold onto its 33 percent market share in the new year since new car sales are predicted to reach 1.5 million units.
Industry sources said both companies have announced conservative growth estimates, reflecting general economic uncertainties.
Meanwhile, Renault Samsung Motors Co., the local unit of French automaker Renault SA., said it wants to sell 110,000 cars in South Korea in 2012, effectively unchanged from 109,221 it sold the year before.
The carmaker, which had a market share of 7.4 percent last year, said that every effort will be made to enhance customer loyalty and after-sale services in the new year.
Other carmakers such as GM Korea Co., the South Korean unit of U.S. automaker General Motors Co., said it is aiming for a market share of 10 percent, up from 9 percent tallied for last year, while Ssangyong Motor Co., the country's smallest carmaker, is targeting sales reaching 47,000 units, or a gain of 21 percent from the year before.