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Hyundai posts record Q4 profit, may gain on Toyota woes

Posted on Friday, January 29th, 2010 at 1:10 PM EST.(Employee News)

Hyundai Motor posted a record quarterly operating profit as its small cars proved popular with recession-weary buyers and, with Toyota facing an image crisis, the South Korean firm should keep its edge over rivals this year, Reuters reported.

Hyundai, the world’s No.4 automaker with Kia Motors Corp, is expected to see healthy sales growth this year as economic recovery and new models bolster demand, analysts said, though a firmer won currency and fewer state incentives for car buyers are potential risks, the news service said.

Hyundai’s record earnings came as shares in bigger Japanese rival Toyota Motor Corp fell sharply on concerns about its image and profits after it halted sales of several top models in the United States to fix an accelerator fault, Reuters said.

Hyundai was a big winner in 2009 with a shift to smaller cars and government incentives worldwide for car buyers, the report said. Popular, low-cost models and sassy marketing helped it grab market share in the United States and in China, now the world’s biggest auto market, where its Elantra is the best-selling foreign car, the story said. (Reuters)
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