Hyundai rides recession-conscious consumers to record earnings

On Thursday, South Korea's Hyundai Motor Company posted Q3 profits of $826.2 million, more than three times its 2008 profits in the same quarter and an all-time quarterly high for the automaker. Given that the previous record of $680 million was set in Q2 of this year, it is clear that Hyundai, the world's fifth-largest automaker, is riding a wave of massively increasing profits.

A large part of this leap lies in a 34 percent jump in sales, attributable to many factors, including the cash-for-clunkers program and deep discounts from Hyundai. In the third quarter, the automaker claims to have taken 5.5 percent of global market share, up from 4.4 percent the previous year.