Hyundai, Kia see auto sales rebound in 2021 after missing annual target for 6th year in 2020

Adds details on sales and share movements

SEOUL, Jan 4 (Reuters)South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Co 005380.KS and affiliate Kia Motors Corp 000270.KS on Monday forecast combined global sales will rise 11.5% in 2021, rebounding from a 10-year low in 2020 as they missed annual targets for the sixth consecutive year.

The South Korean pair said they expect combined sales in 2021 of 7.08 million vehicles, bouncing back after a year plagued by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the global economy.

For 2020 they reported a 13% drop in combined global 2020 sales to 6.35 million vehicles. That was the lowest since 2010’s 5.74 million and well below the combined target set last January of 7.54 million.

Sales have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, particularly the imposition of a renewed series of stay-at-home measures in recent months in several countries as part of efforts to stop COVID-19 spreading.

Prior to the announcement, shares of Hyundai Motor soared as much as 9.9% to 211,000 won, their highest since September 2014, as investors upped bets on electric car developments this year. The benchmark KOSPI index <.KS 11> also climbed 2.5% on the bullish mood among Seoul investors.

(Reporting by Heekyong Yang, Hyunjoo Jin, Joyce Lee; Editing by Jane Wardell and Kenneth Maxwell)

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