(ATTN: UPDATES with additional remarks from Hyundai Motor chairman, more details in paras 5-9; ADDS photo)
SEOUL, Jan. 2 (Yonhap) -- Hyundai Motor Group has set its sales target at 8.25 million cars this year, the group chairman said Monday.
The annual target marks a 1.5 percent increase from the 2016 target of 8.13 million.
South Korea's largest automotive group has yet to release its actual sales for 2016, but is widely expected to have failed to reach the target.
The new sales target for 2017 was revealed in a message from Chairman Chung Mong-koo. The group is the world's fifth-largest automakers by sales.
"The auto industry is facing more uncertainties than ever due to an increasingly spreading trade protectionism and growing global competition, while the global economy continues to face a prolonged slump," the group chairman said in his message for the new year.
"Therefore, the group plans to ensure its future growth by actively responding to changes in external conditions," he added.
Chung said efforts to expand sales will include improving the competitiveness of its luxury vehicles and environmentally friendly cars.
The group's automaking subsidiaries -- Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp. -- will also launch more than 10 new refreshed vehicle models this year to actively meet the changing taste and demand of global consumers, he noted.
The carmakers have said the new vehicles to be launched this year will include at least one SUV each.