Hyundai, Kia expect to beat 2013 sales goal of 7.5 million

Sorento SUVKia Motors' Sorento sport utility vehicle

South Korea's Hyundai Motor Co and affiliate Kia Motors Corp said on Monday that they are on track to sell more than 7.5 million vehicles globally this year, higher than their earlier target of 7.41 million vehicles, after overseas sales growth offset lackluster domestic shipments.

Hyundai and Kia, which rank fifth in global vehicle sales, expect a tough year in 2014 as Japanese and European automakers are seen accelerating competition and the U.S. and Chinese markets face moderating growth.

In South Korea, German carmakers are forecast to aggressively boost sales next year and erode the home market dominance of Hyundai and Kia, driven by a free trade deal.

Hyundai and Kia said they saw their combined global sales rise 6 percent to 6.9 million vehicles from January to November this year from a year earlier. Their overseas sales rose 8 percent during the period, while South Korean shipments dipped 3 percent.

Solid sales gains in emerging markets like China and Brazil outweighed slowing sales in the United States and South Korea where Hyundai and Kia have underperformed rivals partly due to aging models.

Last year, Hyundai and Kia sold a combined 7.1 million vehicles.

Hyundai next year plans to launch a new Sonata sedan, its bread-and-butter model, while Kia Motors is expected to roll out the Sorento sport utility vehicle and Carnival minivan.

Chung Mong-koo, chairman of Hyundai Motor Group, is expected to announce the automakers' 2014 sales target in his New Year speech on January 2.

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