Despite Inventory Issues in Korea and U.S., Hyundai Reports Near Record Earnings As China Sales Surge

TTAC Staff
by TTAC Staff
despite inventory issues in korea and u s hyundai reports near record earnings as

Despite low inventory levels that affected sales in North America and their home market of Korea, Hyundai Motor Co. announced near record profits for the second quarter of 2013, powered by good results in China. Hyundai reported net profits of 2.52 trillion Korean won ($2.26 billion), down just slightly from last year but beating analysts expectations. Operating profit was 2.41 trillion won ($2.16 billion) on revenues of 23.18 trillion won ($208.39 billion).

Bucking a slowing Chinese market, Hyundai sales there were up 36% in the first half of 2013 following the start of production at the company’s third Chinese assembly plant, the launch of a local version of the Elantra, and decreased sales of Japanese brands due to the dispute between China and Japan over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands.

Sales in its home market of South Korea fell 0.7% while U.S. sales were up slightly 1.2%. Hyundai sales in both of those markets were hampered by a labor dispute over wages and overtime affecting their Korean operations, reducing supply. Also, competitors in the critical compact and midsize segments have introduced many new models, while Hyundai’s bread and butter Elantra and Sonata are among the oldest in that segment. To move the metal, Hyundai has cut prices and increased incentives. The relatively flat results in North America means that the company has been losing market share.

In Europe, where sales are at the lowest point they’ve been in 20 years, Hyundai’s sales were off 9 percent.

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  • Wmba Wmba on Jul 27, 2013

    Have to echo doctorolds comments, particularly the KR won to US dollar conversin of revenue. It's only about $21 billion US. That does mean, however, that the profit to sales ratio is over 10%, which beats the BMW benchmark. Is any other automaker as profitable? Apparently heated steering wheels and ventilated, cooled driver's seats don't cost as much as many might have guessed.

  • Ron Ron on Jul 27, 2013

    Just so that everyone is clear, inventory levels are irrelevant to profits. Automakers do not record sales and profits when the car is sold by a dealer -- they record sales and profits the moment that the car leaves the factory.

    • See 1 previous
    • Bd2 Bd2 on Jul 27, 2013

      @Dimwit Hyundai/Kia have made a mistake in not planning for another factory in North America, whether it be in the US (somewhere in the SE, taking advantage of the close proximity to the current US plants) or Mexico (to take advantage of FTAs with Europe and much of South America). Due to continued labor troubles in Korea, it would be advantageous for Kia to build the new Forte in the US - which should also be a much bigger seller for Kia. Hyundai at its Alabama plant shifted production to the Elantra and they still can't meet demand while Sonatas continue to be in short supply. But even more so is the supply of the Santa Fe Sport which Kia builds for Hyundai at its GA plant. Even with Kia allocating a bit more production to the SFS (which has hurt Sorento sales), SFS sales are well below what they would be if H/K had more production available. A 3rd NA plant to build the SFS, Santa Fe LWN and Sorento would be up to maximum capacity in no time (production at Ki's GA plant would then shift to build the Forte, Forte hatch and Koup alongside the Optima). Sales are up in China b/c Hyundai had added capacity with a 3rd plant and Kia will soon follow suit. Even while sales in Europe are a bit down, Hyundai and Kia have expanded production at their Czech and Slovak plants (now at maximum capacity) due to increased demand elsewhere and expansion of capacity at Hyundai's Turkey plant seems to be on the horizon. A lot of the growth in the US auto market is due to sales of CUVs (and trucks) and H/K are seriously handicapped due to the lack of capacity.

  • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on Jul 28, 2013

    If there are production constraints in USA why they are slapping incentives to move Sonatas and other cars as mentioned in article and sell so many car to rental companies. I hear production constraints argument for several years already. In Europe Kia and Hyudai are considered being a better value than Japanese cars. Japanese cars are simply overpriced for what they offer.

    • Dimwit Dimwit on Jul 29, 2013

      Those cars have either unwanted options or not enough of the "good stuff". The big problem with overseas imports is misreading the market. You bring in the wrong product mix and you have unmoving cars and a shortage of cars. Chrysler did the same thing with the Dart. First production run was heavily weighted to manuals and the intro stiffed. Unsaid was the reason why they would do such a thing when the US market is notoriously biased to automatics. I think there was a production difficulty that they wouldn't admit but there you go. Dart stumbled out of the gate and really, hasn't recovered.

  • Jake Kennedy Jake Kennedy on Aug 03, 2013

    Although I like the good news I do have reservations based on admittedly anecdotal observation. I think a lot of people were holding on to their 9 and 10 year old vehicles until the life ran out of them. I have a bunch of friends and neighbors who depend on some sort of truck to conduct business, and none of them have bought anything. If this is truly a economic up-tick, this car buying trend should last several months, maybe even a year before leveling out.