Seoul– Hyundai Motor Group said on Wednesday its overall vehicle sales in the United States rose 7.9 per cent last month from a year earlier despite the extended chip shortage.

Hyundai Motor, its independent Genesis brand, and Hyundai’s smaller affiliate Kia sold a combined 123,233 vehicles in the world’s most important automobile market in October, up from 114,128 units a year ago, according to the companies’ sales data.

Hyundai’s sales climbed 7 percent to 60,604 units last month from 56,761 a year ago, while Kia’s were up 12 percent to 58,276 from 52,067 during the same period, the data showed, reports Yonhap news agency.

“Demand is still there, and our lineup of EV vehicles contributed to record sales this month,” Randy Parker, chief executive officer of Hyundai Motor America, said in a statement, referring to electric vehicles.

But Genesis’ sales fell 18 per cent to 4,353 units from 5,300 during the cited period.

From January to October, the carmakers’ sales in the U.S. fell 6.1 percent to 1,210,559 autos from 1,289,608 during the same period of last year, the data showed.

Hyundai’s sales fell 8 percent on-year to 588,902 units in the first 10 months, and Kia’s declined 5.1 per cent to 576,424 from 607,592 during the same period. But Genesis’ rose 14 percent to 45,233 from 39,620.

Their sales results were partly affected by the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which gives up to $7,500 in tax credits to buyers of EVs assembled only in North America. The move has sparked concerns that Hyundai Motor and Kia could lose ground in the US market, as they make EVs at domestic plants for export to the US.

Hyundai Motor Group plans to begin construction on its 300,000-unit–a-year EV facility in Georgia in the first half of next year with a goal of commencing production in the first half of 2025.

The facility will produce electric models for Hyundai Motor, including its luxury brand Genesis, as well as other models for Kia. The new U.S. plant will be located near existing Hyundai and Kia plants in Alabama and Georgia, respectively, the group said.

The group said it could start producing the all-electric version of the Genesis GV70 SUV at the Alabama plant late this year, but the Hyundai IONIQ 5 and Kia EV6 will be produced at their domestic plants for export.

Hyundai Motor plans to roll out 17 EV models by 2030, including six Genesis models, with Kia scheduled to release 14 EVs by 2027. (IANS)