SEOUL (Bloomberg) -- Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp. said better-than-expected sales in Brazil, China and India will help them sell a record 8 million vehicles this year, even as a stronger won erodes profitability.
The companies’ global sales will beat their 2014 sales target of 7.86 million vehicles after selling 6.55 million units in the first 10 months, the umbrella Hyundai Motor Group said in a statement. Demand for SUVs including the Hyundai Tucson and Santa Fe has helped drive deliveries.
In Europe, Hyundai expects to see a sales recovery driven by its new i20 subcompact, which will be launched this month. Hyundai's European volume is up by 1 percent after 10 months while Kia's sales have risen 5 percent during the period, according to figures from industry association ACEA.
The South Korean automakers together rank fifth in global vehicles sales.
The announcement comes as the automakers, both headed by Chairman Chung Mong-koo, are struggling with a stronger won that has placed South Korea’s exporters at a disadvantage to Japanese competitors, including Toyota Motor Corp., that are benefiting from the yen trading at a near seven-year low.
“The market still does not look rosy,” Chung said in the statement. “Let’s overcome the unfavorable market situation and show our automobile industry’s competence.”
The won gained 2 percent in the 12-month period that ended Sept. 30, the strongest performance among major currencies against the dollar, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The yen weakened 10 percent during the same period.