UPDATE 1-Hyundai, Kia see weak sales growth in 2016

domingo 3 de enero de 2016 19:43 GYT

* Automaker targets 2016 sales of 8.13 mln vehicles, up 1.5 pct

* Sales flat at 8.01 mln vehicles in 2015 - group chief

SEOUL Jan 4 (Reuters) - Hyundai Motor and affiliate Kia Motors forecast their global sales would rise 1.5 percent to 8.13 million vehicles in 2016, after missing their annual target for the first time since the global financial crisis in 2015.

Hyundai and Kia on Monday posted flat 2015 sales of 8.01 million vehicles compared with a target of 8.2 million vehicles, Chung Mong-koo, chief of the family-run conglomerate, said in a speech to employees.

The South Korean automakers, together the world's fifth-largest automaker by sales, are expected to see sales bounce back thanks to tax cuts on small cars, but demand in other emerging markets will remain depressed, analysts said. They are also bracing for a weaker recovery in such markets as South Korea, the United States and Europe.

The duo has been struggling in recent years, with Japanese and U.S. rivals making a comeback in the United States, while demand is slowing in China and other emerging markets.

Plummeting currencies in Russia and Brazil have eroded repatriated earnings for South Korean automakers just as Japanese rivals have benefited from a weaker yen.

Hyundai Motor is targeting 2016 global sales of 5.01 million vehicles, while Kia Motors sets its 2016 sales goal at 3.12 million vehicles. They did not immediately announce their 2015 sales results.

Shares in Hyundai Motor slumped 12 percent last year, extending losses of 29 percent in 2014.

Hyundai Motor was the second-worst performing stock after Volkswagen AG among major global automakers last year. Kia Motors shares gained 1 percent last year, lagging the wider market's 2 percent gain. (Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin; Editing by Stephen Coates)