Remember Genesis, Hyundai’s luxury-challenger brand that was going to wipe the floor with all the other large cars, especially that old Chrysler 300C?
Without a crossover in the lineup, Genesis has been plummeting in US sales. This July, for example, they sold just 615 Genesis car, down 63% from last July. Year to date the number is just 7,877, which is quite good compared with the Alfa Romeo Giulia, another new premium-but-not-quite-luxury sedan. Genesis has been around a lot longer, though, has less baggage, and Alfa Romeo has a crossover, the Stelvio, as well as the sedan.
Last year, from January to July, Genesis made 11,545 sales, a far better showing. But what of the comparable American car, the Chrysler 300/300S/300C? Critics call it dated and stale; customers seem to like it, though, with 27,520 changing hands year-to-date. That’s more than twice as many sales as the Genesis, and remember that Chrysler shares with Dodge; and the Charger adds 47,149 more sales to the same basic body-style. We won’t even bring in the two-door version, also known as the Challenger.
There is a 2019 G70 sport sedan coming to Genesis, a 252-horse car aimed at younger customers and women; we’ll see how that does against both the “old” Charger/300 series and FCA’s replacements for them, due around 2021-22.
Hyundai itself has had a mildly disappointing July, despite having crossovers and minivans in the mix, with sales down 2% to 51,137. For the year so far, Hyundai/Kia has moved 733,474 cars and crossovers. To put that into perspective, Honda and Nissan/Mitsubishi each sold around 200,000 more; but Subaru and Volkswagen were both far lower in sales, at 382,286 and VW, 365,799, respectively. Volkswagen positively dominates Europe, to an extent even greater than GM’s dominance in the US just before the import craze, but it doesn’t quite make it in the USA.
Within Hyundai, the Elantra, a Corolla-level “large compact,” is the best seller, with 113,481 sold so far this year. #2 is the Tucson crossover, which is hardly surprising, with 81,309; crossovers are moving to the top of every company’s sales charts, if they don’t already sell pickups. The next big sellers are the Santa Fe crossover (67,460) and Sonata midsize sedan (63,783). These are all very healthy sales, especially in a highly competitive market that Dodge, Chrysler, and Ford have already run away from. The rest of Hyundai’s vehicles are all relatively minor players with fewer than 17,000 sales this year.
Speaking of irrelevant data, Tesla’s roughly-42,000 sales comes close to Volvo’s 56,244, year-to-date. The “left for dead” Chrysler brand topped 100,000. Jeep was good for around 575,000 sales across six models, making it the most popular Mopar brand by a huge margin.
The author of Dodge Viper, Jeep’s Go-Anywhere Vehicles, and The Rise and Reinvention of Chrysler Minivans, David Zatz has been writing about cars and trucks since the early 1990s; he also writes on organizational development and business at toolpack.info and covers Mac statistics software at macstats.org. His latest book, for kids, is Meet the Jeep.
David has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. You can reach him by using our contact form (preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304.