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Hyundai Reports Increase in SUV Sales in November, Affirming Brand’s New Direction

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2017 Hyundai Tucson Limited 1.6T SUV at Chicago Auto Show blue

Pictured: 2017 Hyundai Tucson Limited 1.6T SUV at Chicago Auto Show

Last year, despite reporting month after month of record sales, Hyundai officials expressed their concern that the automaker would soon be encountering a problem: Hyundai’s sedan-saturated lineup wouldn’t sustain the company’s success for long, offering little opportunity for sales growth or appeal to consumer interests.

Now, as 2017 draws to a close, Hyundai’s fears were right. The automaker is reporting year-to-date USA sales of 603,297 units, around 100,000 fewer than its total sales by this time last year. The silver lining to this news is that, as predicted, SUV sales are increasing. While the Elantra and Sonata have long been Hyundai’s top-sellers by far, the brand’s SUV sales are up, particularly with Tucson sales increasing by a whopping 51%.

A Closer Look: Learn more about Hyundai’s lineup of available SUVs

Increase in SUV Sales Is Good Sign for Hyundai

The 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe is one of only a few 2017 model year vehicles to have earned an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ rating

Pictured: 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe

As one of Hyundai’s two current SUVs in its lineup, the Tucson has been the lesser-selling model, but its sales leapt in November by 51%. Shoppers have clearly noticed the Tucson—something Hyundai has been campaigning hard to achieve.

While overall vehicle sales have been down in 2017 for Hyundai, Santa Fe sales—the automaker’s other SUV—have remained consistent at around 120,000 year-to-date for both 2017 and 2016.

These two pieces of data are strong indicators that Hyundai was right: buyers are interested in SUVs, and Hyundai needs to change to remain competitive. Luckily, this news comes at a perfect time, as the automaker just debuted its brand-new Kona crossover SUV at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November. The new compact SUV aims to continue the brand’s growing SUV sales and broaden the brand’s lineup; the Kona is one of eight new or redesigned utility vehicles Hyundai is releasing by 2020.

Hyundai Kona Spotlight: Learn more about Hyundai’s brand-new urban SUV