Published on January 25th, 2024 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Hyundai Forecasts Slower Growth In 2024 For Electric Cars
The same remark from other manufacturers of electric cars also in the news
Reuters has just shared news that South Korea’s Hyundai Motor has just stated that they are predicting slower sales growth this year due to weak demand and economic uncertainties such as interest rates and inflation, signaling further challenges for the auto industry.
Hyundai, which with affiliate Kia is the world’s number three automaker by sales, reported an impressive 31 percent rise in fourth-quarter profit, missing analysts’ forecast due to un-favorable exchange rates and one-off costs related to the sale of its Russia plant in December.
“Hyundai Motor expects the business environment will remain difficult to predict, due to macro uncertainties centered on emerging markets and a downturn in the real economy,” the company said in a statement.
Hyundai reported a net profit of 2.2 trillion won (USD1.7 billion) for the October-December period, up from 1.7 trillion won a year earlier. That was below the 2.9 trillion won average forecast by LSEG SmartEstimate, which is weighted towards estimates from analysts who are more consistently accurate.
In December, Hyundai said it would take a 287 billion won (USD219 million) loss on selling its plant in Russia, where operations have been suspended since March 2022, the month after Russia invaded Ukraine.
Hyundai is targeting revenue growth of between 4.0 percent and 5.0 percent this year, with a 4.9 percent rise in North American vehicle sales but declines of 3.7 percent in China and 0.6 percent in Europe.
It predicted an operating profit margin between 8.0 percent and 9.0 percent, in line with last year.
“It appears that pent-up demand for vehicles from limited supplies has been disappearing as high interest rates eat away car buyers’ willingness to purchase,” said Lee Jae-il, an analyst at Eugene Investment & Securities.
Hyundai will likely manage its vehicle inventory level more tightly than in previous years as the loss of pent-up demand, along with excessive inventories, hurt profitability, Lee said.
Another uncertainty is electric vehicles (EVs), where Hyundai and Kia together trail EV giant Tesla for highest U.S. market share. Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Wednesday this week warned of a sharp slowdown in sales growth this year.
Hyundai’s global EV sales are expected to rise 12 percent this year to about 300,000 vehicles, said Zayong Koo, the automaker’s senior vice president.
“The EV market has definitely been slowing down,” Koo told a conference call after Hyundai announced its results. “It’s not going to be a linear growth. We will definitely see a bit of a hiccup, or ups and downs, but nevertheless we will continue with that.”
Meanwhile, electric cars from China are seeing a growth in every market they are introduced, including Malaysia. Brands like Geely, BYD, Chery and Great Wall Motors are not seeing any signs of a slowdown.