Revamped Hyundai accelerates to record share of Irish market
Hyundai Cars Ireland, which claims to be the country’s fastest-growing car brand, reported a 37 per cent increase in turnover last year to €67.2 million.
Accounts for the Irish-owned importer and distributor of the Korean cars show an operating profit of €3.4 million for the year ended December 31st, 2011, up from €1.27 million the previous year. The firm ended the year with net funds of €28.4 million.
Hyundai Ireland employed 30 staff last year with wages and salaries of €1.86 million. Directors’ remuneration came to €754,127, up from €459,055 in 2010.
The firm’s three directors are Eugene O’Reilly, Stephen Gleeson and Gerard Boylan. Mr Boylan is also chief executive of Tedcastle Oil, the fuel importer, which operates under the Top brand and is owned by the Reihill family.
O’Reilly, who controls Hyundai Cars Ireland, and Gleeson are also directors of Irish Car Rentals, which is controlled by Colm Menton and Ditton Investments, in which O’Reilly is an investor. The car-rental firm holds the franchises for Europcar, Alamo and National Car.
It was placed in examinership in February 2010 and emerged the following May. It has since reported an operating profit of €2.5 million for the 15-month period to the end of August 2011.
Menton, O’Reilly and Gleeson are also directors in Executive Trust Ltd, which holds the Thrifty and Dollar car-rental franchises along with several other motoring related businesses.
O’Reilly is also a director of Thomas J Coleman newsagents in Dublin.
Globally Hyundai Motors operates two brands, the eponymous car firm and sister brand Kia.
However, in Ireland Kia Motors is operated directly by a UK subsidiary of the Korean parent, competing directly with O’Reilly’s firm which holds the rights for Hyundai-branded vehicle here.
A major revamp of the Korean firm’s model line-up helped its Irish importer achieve a record share of the new car market for the brand.
With the arrival of its iX35 small SUV Hyundai managed to achieve a 4.5 per cent market share in Ireland, with sales of 4,005 new cars, up more than 1,000 on the previous year.
That made them the eighth-largest car brand in terms of new car sales in Ireland in 2011. That has further improved this year, with the marque growing to be the sixth biggest new car brand with a 6.6 per cent share and 5,186 new car sales, according to figures up to the middle of last week.
This year sales have been further bolstered by the arrival of Hyundai’s i40 family car range. Its i30 family hatchback has also been shortlisted for the 2013 European car of the year.