South Korea's Hyundai Kia Automotive Group continues to reap the benefits of its high-quality, highly competitive vehicles, with both the Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Motors achieving record levels of net profits for the first quarter of 2010.
Earning more than $1 billion globally through the first three months of the year, Hyundai is reporting that net profits were five times higher in 2010 than during the same quarter in 2009. For Kia, global net profit "only" quadrupled in Q1 of this year as compared to last, but still totaled $358 million.
A key factor for the success of both companies: U.S. sales. Hyundai topped off its best-ever first quarter sales performance in this country with its best-ever March, thanks to an ongoing makeover of its impressive lineup.
The all-new 2010 Hyundai Tucson crossover leveraged its sharp new look into a nearly 130 percent sales leap in March, while the dramatically redesigned 2011 Hyundai Sonata saw sales increase by more than 52 percent. In fact, on a retail basis, the Sonata outsold the Ford Fusion last month.
Also gaining traction with U.S. customers were the Hyundai Santa Fe, recipient of a 62.8 percent March sales bump, and the Hyundai Genesis, which has now racked up nine straight months of year-over-year sales increases.
These results pushed Hyundai's U.S. sales volume up by 78.3 percent in the first quarter, while revenue jumped 61.5 percent. Also helping Hyundai's global performance were its efforts in China, where sales improved 48.1 percent and revenue climbed 22.6 percent, as well as India, where Hyundai's sales volume and revenue increased by 33.5 percent and 20.8 percent, respectively.
In another sign of Hyundai's strength, the automaker moved up eight places in "Forbes" magazine's listing of the top 2,000 global companies. The Hyundai Motor Company moved up to the 188th spot and now trails only Ford and Honda among automakers on the list.
The story at Kia is a similar one: Record U.S. sales in March drove the company to a record first quarter, during which Kia also sold its 3 millionth vehicle in this country.
Again, an extreme makeover to the automaker's stable is driving the results. The new Kia Sorento, featuring Kia's sophisticated new design language, has been the company's best-selling product for all three months since its January 2010 introduction.
Internationally, Kia's performance in China was well worth noting, as the automaker increased its sales in the world's largest auto market by a stunning 152 percent.
And with both companies preparing to launch even more new/redesigned products through the rest of the year, Hyundai and Kia are well positioned for even more success, both in the U.S. and internationally.