Hyundai Motor halts 2011 US Sonata sales, shares fall | autos | Hindustan Times
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Hyundai Motor halts 2011 US Sonata sales, shares fall

South Korea's Hyundai Motor said on Wednesday it had suspended sales of its new Sonata models in the United States due to door lock problems, sending its shares more than 4 per cent lower.

autos Updated: Feb 24, 2010 10:51 IST

South Korea's Hyundai Motor said on Wednesday it had suspended sales of its new Sonata models in the United States due to door lock problems, sending its shares more than 4 per cent lower.

The decision comes as rival Toyota Motor Corp has been struggling with a mass recall crisis since late January, which had spawned expectations that Toyota's tarnished safety record would shift consumers to more affordable Hyundai models.

"We have halted the sale (of the new Sonata model) due to door-related defects," a Hyundai official said.

"We're looking in to the problem and working on how to deal with it."

Earlier, local news service Moneytoday said that Hyundai Motor's US unit ordered a halt to sales of the new Sonata after notifying dealers of potential problems with the front door locks, citing US auto industry media.

Shares in Hyundai Motor shed as much as 4.3 per cent shortly after the market open before trimming losses to be quoted down 3 per cent at 113,500 won by 0051 GMT, versus a 1 per cent drop in the wider market.

Hyundai was the only major automaker to increase sales in the battered US market last year.

Hyundai's US sales rose 8.3 per cent to 435,064 units in 2009, while industrywide US sales were down 21 per cent. Its share of the US market jumped to 4.2 per cent from 3 per cent in 2008.

This year it is targetting 4.5 per cent market share in the United States, helped by popular new product launches and aggressive marketing.