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Hyundai-Kia Duo Racks Up Record Business Results, Surpassing Tesla, Samsung Electronics in 2023

A pier for automobile exports at Hyundai Motor’s Ulsan plant in Korea

In 2023, Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Corp. racked up more operating profit than Samsung Electronics, the country’s No. 1 company by market capitalization. The two automakers also posted a double-digit operating profit margin, higher than the company Tesla that is leading a global electric car boom.

In an earnings call on Jan. 25, Hyundai Motor said that its sales rose 14.4 percent year on year to 162.6636 trillion won (US$121.6358 billion) and its operating profit 54.0 percent to 15.1269 trillion won on a consolidated basis in 2023. This is a 14.4 percent year-on-year increase in sales and a 54 percent year-on-year increase in operating profit.

This was the carmaker’s best-ever business performance, eclipsing the previous record of 145.275 trillion won in sales and 9.8198 trillion won in operating income in 2022. Its operating margin climbed by 2.4 percentage points year on year to 9.3 percent.

Kia Corp. also posted record results. Kia posted sales of 99.8084 trillion won and operating profit of 11.6079 trillion won in 2023. Year over year, its sales swelled 15.3 percent and its operating profit 60.5 percent. Kia’s operating profit exceeded 10 trillion won for the first time on an annualized basis, and its operating margin reached double digits for the first time at 11.6 percent.

As a result, Hyundai and Kia’s combined sales totaled 26.47 trillion won last year and their combined operating profit was 26.734 trillion won. Hyundai and Kia’s combined operating profit margin was 10.2 percent.

Not only did they surpass perennial leader Samsung Electronics in operating profit (6.54 trillion won), but they also surpassed Tesla, the leader of a global electric car craze, in operating profit margin (8.2 percent). Tesla’s sales were US$25.167 billion in the fourth quarter of last year and its operating margin was slightly higher than 7.6 percent in the third quarter of 2023, but only about half compared to 16.0 percent in the same period of 2022.

Hyundai’s and Kia’s record-breaking performance was driven by solid sales growth in major markets such as North America and Europe, including the United States, as well as increased sales of eco-friendly and high-value-added vehicles.


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