Hyundai said it plans to increase its sales in the US by 4.4% to 734,000 vehicles in 2013.
Hyundai’s chief financial officer Lee Won-hee said that the company, which managed to boost sales in Europe in 2012, expects sales to drop 6.5% in this market, but predict a 13.3% increase in China. Last month the automaker announced it has reached record sales in the US for 2012. Analysts expect Hyundai to report today an increase in net profit for the October-December period of 7.5% to $2 billion.
“Hyundai Motor will no longer enjoy a growth-stock premium, with its earnings growth seen decelerating,” said Kim Sung-tai, a fund manager at Phoenix Asset, which owns Hyundai stock. “The won is appreciating and Japanese and U.S. rivals are normalizing into the levels before the global financial crisis.”
Although the automaker managed to hit record sales last year in Europe due to its affordable cars, the situation in its home market is tensioned, with German and Japanese imports threatening to dominate in South Korea. The company’s fourth-quarter earnings also include the $100 million put aside to compensate customers for the overstated fuel-economy claims over some vehicles sold recently in Canada and the US.