Hyundai Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Co. recorded the highest ever hybrid vehicle sales last month. According to auto industry sources on Nov. 29, Hyundai Motor sold 17,747 Sonata hybrids, Sonata plug-in hybrids and Grandeur hybrids from Jan. through Oct. this year. The numbers represent a 20.4 percent surge from 14,746 units sold in the first 10 months of 2014, which at the time was an all-time record.
In particular, South Korea’s largest carmaker sold only 1,234 hybrid cars in Sept. this year, hitting a new yearly-low. However, Volkswagen’s diesel gate emissions cheating scandal pushed up its sales to 1,487 units in Oct.
Toyota showed a more remarkable increase in hybrid vehicle sales. The Japanese carmaker sold a total of 6,743 units of hybrid cars, including Lexus, from Jan. to Oct. this year. Its sales shot up 23.3 percent from 5,864 units during the same period last year, reach a record high. Notably, Toyota’s hybrid car sales surpassed that of Kia Motors, which was the nation’s second largest hybrid vehicle producer, by 1,600 units during the same period. In addition, Toyota sold a new monthly record of 849 hybrids in Oct.
Thanks to the rise in sales posted by Hyundai Motor and Toyota, the local market for hybrids, including domestic and imported models, expanded 6.7 percent on-year in 2015 to 30,159 vehicles until Oct.
An industry official said, “Due to the recent Volkswagen’s diesel scandal, negative perceptions toward imported diesel cars are not expected to fade for a while. Also, hybrid producers at home and abroad will release new models one after another in the future so the hybrid vehicle market will rapidly grow further.”