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Hyundai Motor posts record earnings on upbeat US sales

By Byun Hye-jin

Published : July 26, 2023 - 17:51

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Hyundai Motor Group’s headquarters in Yangjae, Seocho-gu, Seoul (Hyundai Motor Group) Hyundai Motor Group’s headquarters in Yangjae, Seocho-gu, Seoul (Hyundai Motor Group)

Hyundai Motor said Wednesday it posted record-high sales and profits in the second quarter this year, largely buoyed by strong sales in key markets, including the US.

The carmaker’s sales revenue surged by 17.4 percent to 42.2 trillion won ($33 billion) from a year earlier, surpassing the previous record posted in the fourth quarter last year. Operating profits exceeded the 4 trillion won mark for the first time to reach 4.2 trillion won, a 42.2 percent jump on-year.

Of the 1.06 million unit sales globally, its US sales more than doubled to 225,000 units from a year ago. Its market share stood at 5.5 percent in the all-important market.

“Despite (subsidy cuts for electric vehicles under) the Inflation Reduction Act, we were able to post record sales in the US by expanding lease sales and carrying out diverse promotional events,” the company said.

“Sales of more profitable models, including Tucson and Santa Fe sport utility vehicles, and our high-end Genesis brand also contributed to the stellar performance.”

Sales in Europe also rose by 9.5 percent to 166,000 units during the same period, largely driven by new car launches, including Ioniq EVs and Kona compact.

“For the remaining year, we expect to see stable growth in sales worldwide, with Ioniq 6, Ioniq 5 N and The All New Santa Fe coming,” said Seo Gang-hyun, Hyundai’s chief financial officer, during a conference call later in the day.

Despite economic uncertainties later this year, he dismissed the possibility of pushing to sell cheaper cars to elevate sales figures.

“Our strategy focus will be on highly profitable Genesis cars and SUVs, which allowed us to secure a strong foothold both in Korea and the US. Based on the same strategy, we also hope to expand our presence in Europe,” Seo added.

Based on the upbeat quarterly earnings and positive outlook for the second half, the carmaker adjusted its annual guidance on profitability. It raised the sales growth target from 10.5-11.5 percent to 14-15 percent, while the growth target for operating profits was also raised from 6.5-7.5 percent to 8-9 percent. But its annual sales target was maintained at a total of 4.31 million units.

Separately, when asked about how it would compete with Tesla’s price cuts in the US, Koo Za-young, head of investor relations, said the company is offering $4,000-$5,000 cash incentives for customers buying the Ioniq 5 or 6.

As for the upcoming wage talks with the United Auto Workers, a US labor union, Koo predicted no serious impact from the outcome.