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Surprise (NOT) Hyundai Will Set Sales Record in March

It's become a broken record announcement of sorts: Hyundai is having yet another record-breaking month of sales. One wonders when this sales juggernaut will finally end.

What's also unusual is to see a company toot its own horn before the sales month is officially over. Typically, an auto manufacturer won't announce sales figures until the close of the month. Maybe somebody at Hyundai didn't feel like working on Sunday to compile the figures.

Anywho, Hyundai announced in a press release, that On the strength of a rapidly recovering new vehicle industry, Hyundai is poised to shatter its all-time record for monthly sales volume led by its stable of 40-mpg highway vehicles like Accent, Veloster M/T, Elantra and hybrid Sonata. Hyundai, the most fuel-efficient automaker in America according to the EPA, expects to sell more than 65,000 vehicles this month, a sign of an improving auto industry and unsurpassed demand for Hyundai’s high mileage line-up.

“March is shaping up to be our best sales month ever,” said Dave Zuchowski, Hyundai Motor America’s executive vice president of national sales. “We expect to sell 50 percent more of our 40-mpg highway vehicles than we sold in March 2011 as customers recognized that Hyundai is the place to shop for the best selection of high mileage cars.”

The sales increase looks to be about 6.6 percent over the March 2011 sales figures of 61,754. Without exact sales figures being provided for March 2012 yet it's difficult to say if the new Veloster might be driving the huge jump in sales. Through the first two months of 2012, the Veloster had sold 4,933 models. Take away the Veloster and Hyundai sales might be flat for March.

Once again it's tough to tell without the exact sales figures. Not to ascribe Machiavellian motives to the Korean automaker, but it could explain why the estimated sales figures are being announced now. Get the story out on your own terms before the numbers can be closely matched.

However, some of the sales drop could be ascribed to the decline in the Santa Fe. A new model is being introduced next week at the New York International Auto Show. Sales of old models do tend to be depressed once word of a new model leaks out. Also, too, the Azera, a relatively weak seller, should start to bump up numbers the longer it is on the market.

Regardless, Hyundai is demonstrating that it should be on pace to have another record-setting year (and not just month). As the company pointed out, it is the most fuel-efficient full-line manufacturer, according to the EPA, which bodes well as average gas prices start to skip north of $4 a gallon across the U.S.