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Hyundai Motor says U.S. sales rose 6 percent in December

A Hyundai Genesis is seen at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles, California, November 21, 2013. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
A Hyundai Genesis is seen at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles, California, November 21, 2013. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

SEOUL (Reuters) - Hyundai Motor <005380.KS> said on Friday that its U.S. sales climbed 6 percent to 63,005 vehicles in December from a year earlier, bringing its 2013 U.S. sales to a record high of 720,783 vehicles driven by the Elantra compact and Santa Fe sport utility vehicles.

But the 2013 sales fell short of its earlier target of 734,000 vehicles, as the South Korean automaker faced tougher competition from resurgent U.S. and Japanese rivals, as well as a lack of manufacturing capacity and newer models.

Hyundai, which recently replaced its U.S. chief, plans to launch revamped versions of the Genesis and Sonata sedans this year to spur sales momentum in the U.S. market.

(Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin; Editing by Michael Urquhart)

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