Hyundai States Good Profit Growth

  Hyundai Motor Co., South Korea's largest automaker and a growing force in the global industry, said third-quarter net profit more than tripled to a record high amid sharply higher sales.

  Hyundai Motor said in a regulatory filing Thursday that it earned 979.2 billion won ($827.3 million) in the three months ended Sept. 30. It posted net profit of 264.8 billion won a year earlier.

  The automaker's global auto sales in the third quarter surged 41 % to 824,181 vehicles from the year before. For the first nine months of 2009, sales rose 7.5 %  2.23 million.

  The company said it took 5.5 % of global market share in the third quarter, up from 4.4 % in the same period last year and 5.2 % in the second quarter of 2009.

  Hyundai, which along with affiliate Kia Motors Corp. forms the world's fifth-largest automotive group, has seen its market share grow worldwide in recent years through an emphasis on quality and design.

  Creative marketing has also helped Hyundai gain attention. Responding to the global economic crisis, it implemented a program that allows customers in the United States and some other countries who lose their job to return their vehicle for a refund.

  Hyundai has also benefited amid the global slump from weakness in the South Korean won, which has made it products more competitive in overseas markets.

  Shares in Hyundai, which released earnings about two hours before the stock market closed, fell 0.5 % to finish at 103,000 won. Hyundai shares have surged 161 % so far this year, acording to the Associated Press' report.

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