Strong won hits Hyundai

02-05-2007

Strong won hits Hyundai
Car manufacturer Hyundai Motor has posted a disappointing set of first-quarter results.

The world's sixth-largest carmaker saw its first-quarter profits fall to 307.4 billion (£165.7 million) from last year's 342.4 billion won (£184.5 million).

This ten per cent decline was attributed to tough market conditions, high raw materials prices and a strong won.

"Hyundai Motor's sales are under huge pressure at home and overseas," Lim Chang Gue of Samsung Investment Trust Management told the Bloomberg news agency.

"I don't see any good news in terms of sales growth on the horizon."

Hyundai struggled in the US because of the strong won, reflecting a 7.9 per cent year-on-year fall in US sales for Asian carmakers.

Overall US sales increased to 213,999 from 211,365, exacerbating the disappointing performance of Asian manufacturers.

But General Motors, Ford, Toyota and Honda all posted a drop in sales, continuing the gloomy outlook for the country's top market leaders.

Economists said low consumer confidence and rising petrol prices had curbed demand for new vehicles.


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