By Andrew Ganz
Tuesday, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 9:13 am
 
The CEO of Hyundai Motor America says that the Korean automaker is gunning to cut its fleet sales in half to just 32,000 units this year in an effort to increase its retail sales.

Overall, Hyundai expects to sell more than 710,000 vehicles in the United States in 2012, which means that it is aiming for less than 5 percent of its new cars to wind up in fleets. That's a huge decline for Hyundai, which once sold upwards of a quarter of its production to fleets.

By comparison, Ford has come under some fire in recent weeks after it admitted last month that nearly a third of its sales this year have gone to various fleets.

Corporate, government and daily rental fleets generally buy cars at hefty discounts, and they typically only keep vehicles for a year before dumping them on the used market. This diminishes resale values, although pundits have argued that a rental fleet presence can actually translate into higher retail sales as renters have a chance to experience cars they might not otherwise drive.

Overall, Hyundai is hoping to sell an extra 100,000 cars this year, which would mark a "pretty big throughput increase" for the brand's 815 dealers, CEO John Krafcik told Automotive News.