Hyundai Is All Smiles

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
hyundai is all smiles

Hyundai Motor Co. today released impressive results. Net 2010 profit increased 77.8 percent to 5.3 trillion won ($4.7 billion) on global sales of 3,612,487 units. That’s a 16.3 percent sales gain from a year earlier. Whoa, says the attentive observer of sales data, didn’t they make some 4.6 million last year? Where is the increase? The 4.6 million were Hyundai and Kia together.

Many journos will trip over that today.

The good ones, such as the ones working for Financial Times, notice that the reported numbers are Hyundai numbers only, and write that “Hyundai Motor, the world’s fifth-largest carmaker by sales together with its affiliate Kia Motors, is on track to extend its robust growth.” The sloppy ones, which shall go unmentioned, but Google sees everything, will simply write that the world’s fifth largest automaker has great financials and sales of 3.6 million. Soon it will be in (“The threshold for inclusion verifiability, not truth”) Wikipedia, and it will turn into toxic sludge.

In a way, the clever text of the press release is complicit. It writes that “established in 1967, Hyundai Motor Co. has grown into the Hyundai Motor Group which has ranked as the world’s fifth-largest automaker since 2007.” All correct. But subtlety doesn’t work with today’s attention-deficient journo.

Speaking of sales data: All we need are the consolidated Hyundai and Kia numbers, and the numbers of Ford. Then we’ll know who the real #4 and #5 are.

Join the conversation
  • Tankinbeans Tankinbeans on Jan 27, 2011

    LolCar? "I can haz cheezburgr? This shot reminds me of a lolcat that is nose up to the camera. I know I've said it before, but that is what always comes to mind when I see the up-close nose shot since all cars seem to have a face of one for another.

  • I_godzuki I_godzuki on Jan 28, 2011

    I think it's more the case the Hyundai and Kia are listed separately with Kia's results coming out today (and not as good as expected, apparently). The trouble with Hyundai and Kia is that they don't seem sure if they want to be classed as one company or two. In the US, it's very much two. In Korea, it's increasingly as one unless someone asks about the terms of the original acquisition of Kia stock by Hyundai.