Hyundai Motor announced on Thursday that its fourth-quarter sales last year were the highest it has ever achieved.
The sales of W22.72 trillion (US$1=W1,069) were 10.7 percent higher than the same quarter a year earlier thanks to the increased sales in major markets.
Its total sales for last year were also record at W84.47 trillion. The company posted an operating profit of W8.44 trillion. But operating profit in the fourth quarter fell 7.3 percent on-year to W1.83 trillion, largely due to the strong Korean won. It had been above 10 percent for seven consecutive quarters but dropped to 8.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012.
A similar picture is expected in the first quarter of this year.
Meanwhile, Hyundai decided to launch a diesel version of the Avante sedan to tackle the depressed domestic market and the assault of imported cars.
Hyundai chief financial officer Lee Won-hee said the diesel version "is our response to the sharp rise in the sale of compact cars and diesel cars by foreign carmakers."
The Avante Diesel will be equipped with a U1.6 engine, the same engine used in the i30 sold in the European market. The company will also freeze the price of major cars in Korea and focus on boosting the sales of more profitable large sedans or RVs.