SEOUL-- Hyundai Motor Co. and its sister company Kia Motors Corp. suffered sharp sales declines in the United States in the first four months of this year due to slowing local demand, the companies said Wednesday.

"The U.S. market appears to be at a turning point. The U.S. automobile market has been growing in recent years, but this year the pace of growth is slowing down," a Hyundai official said.

Moreover, Hyundai and Kia lack new models and have an underdeveloped SUV lineup to woo customers in the world's most important market, the company said.

In the four months, Hyundai saw its U.S. sales drop 4.3 percent year-over-year to 225,288 vehicles. Kia's sales declined 11 percent to 181,088 units during the same period, sales data showed.

Hyundai's vehicle sales didn't include sales figures of its luxury Genesis models. The Genesis sedans are sold separately under the independent Genesis brand in global markets.

Hyundai and Kia together are the flagships of Hyundai Motor Group, the world's fifth-largest automotive conglomerate. They aim to sell a combined 8.25 million vehicles this year, up from 7.9 million autos sold globally last year.

Source: Yonhap News Agency