Hyundai Motor

It’s been a tough year so far for Hyundai Motor. Following the stronger won (eroding competitiveness) and labour problems, the South Korean carmaker now has to deal with brake problems.

Hyundai said on Tuesday it would recall about 27,500 Genesis sedans to replace the brake fluid, which does not have a corrosion inhibitor, as the problem could cause braking failure. The recall affects the luxury sedans produced between April 2008 and March 2012. Read more

Hyundai Motor Group’s rise to prominence in the global autos market may have sparked alarm from Detroit to Wolfsburg – but the pace of growth has slowed of late. Chung Mong-koo, the South Korean group’s chairman, has adopted a cautious approach to capacity expansion in order to avoid the dangers of growing too fast.

So the market sat up and took notice on Friday after he hinted at a possible change of heart. Read more

After that ad, and a drop in profits, some good news for Hyundai. To the relief of many investors, the labour union has ended its seven-week dispute with the company over weekend work.

The 45,000-strong union will resume their overtime work from this weekend after refusing it for the past eight weekends, demanding higher wages. The temporary work stoppage cost the company more than Won1tn ($900m) in production losses. Read more

A huge recall announcement on Thursday has come at a difficult time for Korean carmaker Hyundai Motor and its affiliate Kia Motors.

Together the two companies are recalling almost 1.9m vehicles in the US for electronics problems related to brake-light switches and air bags. Coming hot on the heels of a dose of bad publicity over over mis-stated fuel efficiency claims, the latest affair will do the Korean duo no good in the crucial north American market. Read more

Hyundai cars 2012Investors of Hyundai Motor have a good reason to be unhappy these days: South Korea’s largest automaker has been excluded from the recent stock market rally.

Concerns over the stronger won versus the weaker yen have weighed on the shares as the currency rate is feared to take a toll on Korean exporters. The Japanese yen has fallen to a 20-month low as Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party returned to power, calling for “unlimited” monetary easing. Read more

Korean companies could be forgiven some secret delight at rising sales in China as they benefit from anti-Japan sentiment in the world’s second-largest economy.

Hyundai Motor and its affiliate Kia Motors posted a record combined sales of 127,827 vehicles in China last month, up 9.5 per cent from a year earlier. Hyundai denied that it was benefiting from a wave of anti-Japan protests in the world’s largest auto market, attributing the sales increase instead to the growing popularity of its compact cars such as the Avante and Pride. Read more

Despite slowing growth in auto sales, China is a market that global carmakers cannot miss, given its still huge growth potential.

So perhaps a little financing might help? Hyundai Motor will start providing auto loans from this month to Chinese consumers to boost its market share in the world’s largest car market. Read more

The production line at Opel’s factory in Gliwice in southern Poland is humming, with a steady stream of new Astra models rolling out of the factory – but a chat with factory executives reveals a much grimmer picture.

Output hit 174,000 units last year, its best since the pre-crisis year of 2007. But this year is likely to see a fall below 140,000 cars, says Jacek Zarnowiecki, personnel director for GM Poland.  “2012 will be a down year as we face a second wave of the crisis. Our portfolio seems to be quite good, but we have to improve our marketing and the company image.” Read more

Is Hyundai Motor losing momentum? Many investors are asking the question as the carmaker’s global sales fell nearly 5 per cent in August to the lowest level in more than three years.

Because of low inventories and partial strikes, Hyundai’s US sales grew only 4 per cent in August from a year earlier while the big three US automakers all reported increases of more than 10 per cent in August sales, as American consumers replace ageing vehicles. Read more

If you look at Samsung Electronics and Hyundai Motor, South Korean companies do not appear to be feeling the pinch of Europe’s debt crisis and the slowing global economy. But a deeper look at the rest of corporate Korea tells a different story.

Despite the global economic slowdown, Samsung’s operating profit surged 79 per cent to $5.9bn in the second quarter on the back of booming sales of its smartphones while Hyundai Motor reported an 18 per cent jump in second-quarter operating profit to Won2.5tn. But excluding the two companies, combined operating profits of 129 listed Korean companies plunged 44.6 per cent in the second quarter from a year earlier and their combined net profits shrank 59.2 per cent, according to market researcher FnGuide. Read more

 Hyundai Motor’s bolshy labour union seems ready to bite hard this time if its demands are rejected.

Union leaders walked out of wage talks last week, threatening to take steps for a possible strike. The move raised concerns about potential labour problems at the automaker, pushing its share more than 3 per cent lower on Friday before they recovered 1.3 per cent on Monday. Read more

Want to crack emerging markets? Don’t forget localisation. One of the companies applying this strategy most successfully is Hyundai Motor, South Korea’s largest automaker, offering tailored models to meet local needs in markets such as Russia and India.

The carmaker has incorporated some very specific features, from heated wing mirrors to extra headroom for turban-wearers. The question is whether this will help in what is set to be a difficult 2012. Read more