Hyundai Motor sold 1.53 million vehicles in 2000, despite a slowdown in December, setting a new record for the Korean manufacturer.

With domestic sales of 646,670 and export sales of 886,485 for the year, the company hit a total of 1,533,155 vehicles according to figures for 2000, an increase of 20 per cent over the 1999 total of 1,271,515 vehicles.

Sales at both home and abroad improved over 1999 figures. The domestic market was up 13.3 per cent over the 1999 total of 570,554 and exports increased by 26.5 per cent over the previous record figure of 700,961.

The 42,005 vehicles sold in Korea during December showed a fall of 18 per cent against the 1999 figure of 51,242 but overseas demand continued to increase and in December Hyundai exported 80,186 vehicles compared to 62,055 last year - a 29 per cent increase.

The best selling vehicle was again the Sonata with total year sales of 112,512 - down 8.2 per cent compared to 1999 when the new model recorded its first full-year sales figures.

The Elantra sold a total of 57,037 in 2000 - its introductory year - and another all-new model launched mid-year, the Santa Fe, recorded total sales of 20,399.

The Accent also showed strong growth with sales of 54,049 up by 37 per cent from the previous year. The Trajet MPV - first exported in 2000 - recorded total sales of 37,770.