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This Year, Hyundai Hits a Half-Million

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author photo by Autotrader December 2010

Hyundai has come a long way. Now in its twenty-fifth year in the U.S. market, the Korean automaker has seen its share of ups and downs, from steady growth to an economic recession. But on Tuesday, it can celebrate a milestone: for the first time ever, Hyundai has hit 500,000 U.S. sales in one year.

For those following Hyundai’s progress in the last few years, it will come as little surprise that the automaker toppled the 500,000 barrier in 2010. Hyundai has recently released several popular new models, including the redesigned Tucson SUV, whose sales are up 145 percent over last year, and the all-new midsize Sonata sedan, which has seen a 64-percent sales boost on the heels of abundant praise from the automotive press.

Early sales of Hyundai’s redesigned Elantra have also been off to a strong start since the compact sedan’s release earlier this month. And while the automaker’s aging Santa Fe SUV hasn’t seen a significant sales jump, it remains one of the brand’s most popular vehicles, accounting for nearly 15 percent of all sales.

“Hyundai’s sales continue to climb as more consumers become aware of our great products, high quality, the industry’s best warranty, and improving dealership experience,” said Dave Zuchowski, Hyundai Motor America’s executive vice president for national sales. “We expect our sales momentum to continue as we head into the New Year with models like the new Elantra, the first of four planned 40-mpg Hyundai vehicles in our lineup, and our premium luxury sedan, Equus, just now starting to roll into showrooms. Our future looks bright, largely due to our product renaissance.”

Indeed, it was often Hyundai’s products which left the automaker lagging behind competitors throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Plagued by early quality issues and poor resale values, Hyundai struggled to find a stronghold in the U.S. market until the adoption of its now-famous ten-year warranty in 1999. The unusually long warranty helped allay buyer concerns about reliability, finally allowing sales to take off. Prior to 2010, the automaker’s best year was 2007, which saw 467,009 sales.

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This Year, Hyundai Hits a Half-Million - Autotrader