Hyundai predicts new vehicles will boost profitabilityHyundai Motor Group will post improved profitability in 2021 on its diversified lineup and cost reductions, the group's chairman said Tuesday.
In an online townhall meeting with employees, Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Chung Euisun said, "the company's profitability will improve a lot this year as it made a turnaround from the second half of last year."
Hyundai Motor's net profit for the October-December period jumped 53 percent to 1.18 trillion won ($1.04 billion) from 772 billion won a year earlier. Kia Corp.'s nearly tripled to 976.75 billion won from 346.36 billion won during the same period.
Robust sales of the carmakers' sport-utility vehicles and high-end models propped up their earnings results.
Chung said global auto demand fell about 20 percent last year as the "unprecedented" Covid-19 pandemic disrupted vehicle production and sales.
"It was most urgent [for the group] to secure additional liquidity to continue investments in future mobility businesses amid an extended pandemic last year," he said.
The chairman said the group will continue to invest in autonomous driving, hydrogen fuel cell, urban air mobility and robotics technologies to morph into a future mobility solutions provider.
Chung said he hopes Hyundai's Ioniq 5 and Kia's EV6 all-electric models embedded with the group's own EV-only electric-global modular platform (E-GMP) will receive a strong response in the markets and their sales will help the group's future business plans.
Hyundai plans to launch the Ioniq 5 midsize crossover vehicle in the domestic market in the second quarter and Kia plans the global unveiling of the EV6 later this month.
To strengthen its presence in the eco-friendly vehicle market, Hyundai plans to introduce the Ioniq 6 midsize sedan in 2022 and the Ioniq 7 large SUV in 2024. It will begin using alphanumeric names, like its bigger rivals, such as BMW, whose models are named Series No. 1-8.
Hyundai's independent Genesis brand also plans to launch an all-electric model this year and will fill its lineup with zero-emission models in the future.
Kia plans to launch seven all-electric models, including the EV6, by 2026.
As for the commercialization of autonomous vehicles and UAMs, Chung said the company aims to commercialize self-driving cars and UAMs for logistics purposes in 2023 and 2026, respectively.