Hyundai Motor today (October 22nd) posted its lowest quarterly earnings since 2010, missing analysts' estimates.
The South Korean carmaker said its net income was 1.2 trillion won (£682 million) for the July-September quarter, down 25 per cent on the same quarter last year. It was expected to post 1.5 trillion won in quarterly profit.
Hyundai has suffered from weakening sales in China due to the slowdown in its economy. It was also hampered by its lack of SUV models, misreading consumer demand, according to AP.
The company's China sales tumbled 30 per cent in July compared with the same month last year and lost another 16 per cent in August.
However, sluggish sales in China began to improve with last month's launch of the revamped Tucson, Hyundai’s flagship midsize SUV.
Improving China sales
Hyundai finance chief Lee Won-hee told the Wall Street Journal the company's China sales will continue to improve in the fourth quarter, helped by a tax cut on auto purchases.
He added the company's weak quarterly performance was also due to one-off charges related to last month’s recall in the US of nearly half a million Sonata sedans for faulty engine parts.
The carmaker has been struggling in recent years, with a net profit down by 15 per cent during 2014, falling to 7.65 trillion won.
Hyundai bosses placed the blame on international competition and shifts in currency for the company's faltering performance.
It has been hit by economic turmoil in Russia, where they currently rank as the second highest carmaker. A weak Japanese yen has also meant that cars in the US have now been made cheaper.
While Hyundai has been underperforming on a global scale, its UK arm hit record volumes during 2014. The company announced 82,159 registrations in 2014, signifying a record year and trebling its total from 2008.
The i10 continued to be a hugely popular car with British consumers with sales of the model passing through the 25,000 mark.
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