Hyundai Motor profit surges amid sales jump

SEOUL: Hyundai Motor Co., South Korea's largest automaker and a growing force in the global industry, said third-quarter net profit more than tripled to a record high amid sharply higher sales.

Hyundai Motor said in a regulatory filing Thursday that it earned 979.2 billion won ($827.3 million) in the three months ended Sept. 30.

It posted net profit of 264.8 billion won a year earlier. Hyundai spokesman Ki Jin-ho said the figure was an all-time quarterly high.

It exceeded the previous record of 811.85 billion won set during the second quarter of this year. The Ulsan, South Korea-based maker of the Elantra and Sonata sedans and the luxury Genesis said sales during the quarter rose 33.8 percent to 8.1 trillion won from 6.1 trillion won a year earlier.

Hyundai, which along with affiliate Kia Motors Corp. forms the world's fifth-largest automotive group, has seen its market share grow worldwide in recent years through an emphasis on quality and design.

Creative marketing has also helped Hyundai gain attention. Responding to the global economic crisis, it implemented a program that allows U.S. customers who lose their job the opportunity to return their vehicle for a refund.

Hyundai has also benefited amid the global slump from weakness in the South Korean won, which has made it products more competitive in overseas markets. The won's weakness against the dollar has come as the Japanese yen has surged against the greenback, hitting the bottom line of automakers including Toyota Motor Corp. a key Hyundai rival.