Not to mention SUVs.
Hyundai Motor Group has just announced its fourth-quarter 2020 sales and, despite the ongoing pandemic, there's good news to report. Q4 profit increased by 5.1 percent compared to the same period in 2019. However, global sales volume dropped by 4.7 percent year over year. The South Korean automaker reported a net profit of $1.18 billion in Q4 2020. In 2019 that figure was about $730 million. Unfortunately, profit was set back by South Korea's strong currency against the dollar.
But what's really impressive is that Q4 2020's profit increased by 57 percent thanks to demand for highly profitable luxury models, specifically the Genesis G80 and GV80 SUV. Fewer incentives and low gasoline prices also played a role.
Sales outside of Korea, however, decreased by 6.6 percent due to weak demand most likely the result of the pandemic. All told, Hyundai's global sales totaled 3,744,737 units, a 15.4 percent decrease from 2019. Looking ahead to this year, the automaker is hoping to sell a total of 4.16 million vehicles globally. It predicts 2021's sales to increase by 28 percent in China alone, and in North America a 12 percent boost.
Hyundai also aims for 2021 to be the year in which it transforms into a Smart Mobility Power Solution Provider in areas like electrification, robotics, and fuel cell systems. The upcoming debut of its first dedicated electric vehicle, the Ioniq 5, is only weeks away.
The vehicle's EV-only platform will underpin at least two more vehicles in the near future. But as is the situation for every automaker, Hyundai will continue focusing on money-making vehicles like SUVs and luxury models for the foreseeable future. Despite the recall of the Hyundai Kona EV in Korea earlier this year due to fires, EV sales are still expected to increase this year.
Perhaps not unexpectedly, Hyundai's financial report did not mention the rumored joint EV project with Apple. Earlier this month, we reported the namesake Hyundai brand was taking the lead, though it now appears this task has been handed to Kia.