Others' woes open door wider for Hyundai, analysis shows

(April 2010) Hyundai got another strong showing when sales figures were posted for March.

An analysis by Edmunds.com shows that three Hyundai models — the Hyundai Sonata, Hyundai Tucson and Hyundai Genesis — have in short order charged into the top 10 "most shopped vehicles" on Edmunds.com.

Of the more than 400 models tracked, the Sonata has been the No. 1 most shopped vehicle on Edmunds.com for two weeks in a row in March while the Tucson also was No. 1 for two other weeks in the 2010 first quarter. This quarter marks the first time since Edmunds.com began tracking shopping consideration data in 2007 that any Hyundai model has captured the No. 1 spot.

And Hyundai is successfully converting those shoppers into buyers. Buoyed by the Sonata, Hyundai is expected to have its second strongest sales month ever. Hyundai's sales have been in the 28,000 to 34,000 range every month since September 2009, but Edmunds.com predicts Hyundai will post March sales of 50,460 vehicles. Only August 2009 was better, when Hyundai capitalized on the government's Cash for Clunkers program and sold 60,467 vehicles.

Edmunds.com further forecasts that Hyundai Kia Automotive Group, which consists of Hyundai and Kia, will set a new personal best for market share. It is expected to grab 8.2 percent of the U.S. market, the highest in its history; its previous high of 8.0 percent was achieved last August.

"Hyundai blasted through the recession of 2008-2009 by gaining sales and market share and continues to be a brand to watch in 2010," commented Michelle Krebs, Edmunds.com senior analyst and editor-at-large. "At every turn, the company introduces an impressive new model that immediately grabs public attention."