UPDATE 2-Hyundai aims to up US, China sales; mkt sceptical

jueves 1 de noviembre de 2007 09:42 CET

(Updates with Oct sales, analysts, shares)

By Cheon Jong-woo

SEOUL Nov 1 (Reuters) - Hyundai Motor <005380.KS >, South Korea's top auto maker, plans to boost struggling China and U.S. sales with another factory and new models but investors reacted with scepticism, sending its shares down almost 5 percent.

Hyundai, the world's No.6 auto maker along with its affiliate Kia Motors Corp (000270.KS: Cotización), aims to almost double sales in China with output from another factory there and to raise U.S. sales by 10 percent by introducing new models, a company official said on Thursday.

But analysts said Hyundai's targets were too optimistic.

"The company's will is positive. But the company cannot meet the targets only with will and there is no answer when we ask how," said Kim Jae-woo, an analyst at Mirae Asset Securities.

"In China, it is difficult to lift sales even if the company launches many big hit models due to cut-throat competition. In the U.S., overall demand is unlikely to revive soon due to the housing sector."

A firmer won currency is another concern, they added.

Shares in Hyundai closed down 4.9 percent at 67,500 won, underperforming a 0.1 percent fall in the broader market .KS11.   Continuación...