Luxury cars fuel Hyundai Q4 profit surge

Hyundai Motor on Tuesday (January 26) reported a 57% surge in quarterly profit.

That was partly thanks to demand for its high-margin sports utility vehicles, or SUVs, and premium Genesis cars.

The South Korean company is expecting sales this year to jump in top auto markets China and North America.

Hyundai saw solid demand for its cars last year in emerging markets such as India, despite the pandemic.

But it delivered a loss in the October quarter as it provisioned for a big engine-quality related bill.

Analysts also say demand for its vehicles from car-rental companies that purchase in bulk is still tepid.

But sales of its luxury cars remain a bright spot.

Hyundai said it expects to sell 562,000 vehicles in China, the world's biggest auto market, in 2021.

It's also making a big push into electric vehicles and has said it will introduce an EV-only platform early this year.

It plans to use its own battery technology to cut production time and costs.

There have also been reports in recent weeks that Hyundai was discussing an electric car and battery tie-up with Apple.