Hyundai Motor Group chairman Chung Mong-koo on Monday set a global production and sales target of 8.13 million units for the world’s fifth-largest carmaker in 2016.
The target is about 1 percent down from 2015’s goal of selling 8.2 million units. The carmaker managed to sell 8.01 million units last year, about 2.4 percent short of its initial target.
Chung attributed the volatile Chinese market to the shortcoming. “As we all can see, the Chinese market has been weaker than expected, which is the reason for missing our sales target,” he said.
He said this would also be a tough year for the company due to the low oil prices, expected instability in the developing markets following the U.S.’ benchmark interest hike and the stagnant Chinese economy.
The chairman said he would find a breakthrough in research and development to tackle the mounting pressures and regulations in overseas markets, on top of fierce competition among not only carmakers, but with global information technology firms.
“Now that we have become one of those handful of companies producing more than 8 million units a year, we need to make a car that is powerful and sturdy, a car that does not break,” Chung said.
Hyundai will open manufacturing plants at Pesqueria in Mexico and Cangzhou in China later this year, making a total 34 factories in 10 countries.
The company has a slew of eco-friendly cars in its annual lineup, including Hyundai’s Ioniq, a new hybrid-only brand to be launched later this month. Kia is also scheduled to roll out the K5 Hybrid, the K7 Hybrid as well as the Niro, the first domestic compact hybrid sport utility vehicle.
The sales of Genesis cars, Hyundai’s newly launched stand-alone premium Genesis brand, will also expand overseas. The G90, which is sold as EQ900 in Korea, will start sales in the U.S. and other major markets in the latter half of the year, while the G80, the more affordable and casual sister of the G90, will be introduced shortly after.
“I hope we can give Genesis a firm position in the global automotive map this year,” Chung said.