Hyundai Motor’s sport utility vehicle Santa Fe’s popularity does not seem to be dying down one bit. The model joined the 100,000 sales club as of Dec. 6, and the daily sales has risen even after the launch of the company’s flagship crossover “Palisade,” according to data.
Hyundai said Tuesday that 437 units of the Santa Fe TM have been sold per day on average, a six percent increase from last month (409 units). The South Korean automaker’s flagship Palisade became available for preorder last month, but this has not affected the sales of the Santa Fe.
If the current pace is maintained, the model will be the first to exceed the 100,000 mark by next Friday. The latest record to sell 100,000 units combined the sales of both versions, “Santa Fe DM” and “Santa Fe TM.” If the calculation counts the new model only, the aggregate sales total was 95,312 units as of Monday. To date, models manufactured by South Korean carmakers that have accomplished the feat include Kia Morning, Hyundai Avante HD & MD, the Sonata EF & NF, the Grandeur HG & IG, and the Porter.
Industry observers earlier speculated that the release of the Palisade would make the sales of the Santa Fe slow down because the new model would absorb demands for the Santa Fe to some extent. In fact, some 20,000 people preordered the Palisade while 14,243 units of the Santa Fe TM had been registered for preorder. “It seems the Santa Fe and the Palisade could have different, non-overlapping customers thanks to rising demands for SUVs,” said a Hyundai official.
Some say that the popularity of the Santa Fe TM reveals the trends of the domestic SUV market: customers’ preference for a gasoline engine and the rise of thirty-something and female customers. The company’s analysis of the Santa Fe TM buyers shows that the percentage of people who chose a gasoline engine was higher by 10 percentage points than the Santa Fe DM. Also, six percent of the customers were in their twenties, and 22 percent in their thirties, two and eight percentage point increases, respectively. In the meantime, customers in their fifties and sixties decreased by five and four percentage points, respectively.
What is also noticeable is the increase of female buyers. Some 19 percent of the Santa Fe TM customers were female, a four percentage point growth from the existing model. In addition, more people chose the five-seater Santa Fe, with 78.9 percent of Santa Fe TM customers going for the five-passenger, higher by 11.9 percentage points than the Santa Fe DM.
“Young generations started to opt for SUVs, and the era of gasoline-powered SUVs seems to have begun,” the company said. “While the sales of sedans such as the Grandeur and the Sonata are supported by the demands of taxi companies and corporations, the Santa Fe is constantly beloved by customers even though it is not used as a taxi or company car.” Indeed, nearly 80 percent of Santa Fe drivers turned out to be individual users, a figure higher than that of the Grandeur.