I am retired and take educated guesses on all things financial.

April 04, 2010

April 5, 2010: Hyundai Forges Ahead

Hyundai Automotive Group posted record sales in March, 15.4% over March 2009. The Sonata, Hyundai's excellent mid-sized sedan, came in third place after the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord.

During the current economic downdraft, two primary events have occurred to propel Hyundai forward. The quality, style, fit and finish of Hyundai vehicles have been widely judged to be very good to excellent, and the price point has been thousands less than comparable vehicles.

Some analysts have attributed Hyundai's performance to generous discounts on vehicles, higher sales to rental-car operators and accepting buyers with higher credit default risks than competitors. Recent sales, though, may have dispelled those notions, as the discounts are less than most competitors and sales to rental-car operators have flattened. In short, buyers coming into Hyundai showrooms like the quality and love the price for the product they see. Kia, intertwined with Hyundai, attracts a lower-end buyer, yet the quality is still better than expected, and several Kia vehicles have received good reviews.

This week, Hyundai announced a new hybrid 2011 Sonata to be unleashed in late November with a better-than-Toyota battery that can run fully on electricity at speeds up to up to 62 m.p.h., ideally suited for commuters. It is said to be more efficient than the Prius. Also coming shortly, a 4 cylinder 274-horse Sonata with a price point of under $25g.Lately, several international brokerage houses have mentioned Hyundai in glowing terms.

Investors wanting to jump onto the Hyundai bandwagon may want to investigate Hyundai Motor Company on the OTC Pink Sheets, symbols HYMTF or HYMLF.The adventuresome may want to look into the stock on the Korean exchange (011760). The Hyundai name is a part of many Korean heavy industry components, so know what you are looking at before you invest. Trading on the pink sheets can be flaccid and pricey.

With Hyundai making major inroads into the US and world auto markets, exploring ways to latch onto this company may be well worth your effort. When Toyota and Honda are concerned about Hyundai's steady progress taking world market share of automotive product, that is a good sign.

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