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Auto sales pick up but GM, Renault struggle

June 02,2018
The outlook for Korea’s top automobile manufacturers has started to look up as overseas sales increase.

It wasn’t all rosy, however, as GM Korea, which has been struggling to stay afloat since the beginning of the year, saw sales continue to fall.

Hyundai Motor, Korea’s top automaker, said Friday its May sales rose 5.7 percent from a year earlier on recovering demand for its vehicles.

Hyundai Motor sold 387,017 vehicles in May, up from 366,256 units a year earlier, helped by increased overseas sales, the company said in a statement.

“The monthly results were helped by increased shipments of the Kona SUV to overseas markets, recovering sales in China and robust sales in emerging economies, such as Brazil and Russia,” the statement said.

Domestic sales climbed 2.1 percent to 61,896 units last month from 60,607 a year ago, and overseas sales were up 6.4 percent to 325,121 from 305,649 during the same period, it said.

In the January-May period, sales gained 2.4 percent to 1.83 million units from 1.79 million units a year earlier, the statement said.

Kia Motors said its car sales rose 9 percent in May from a year earlier on recovering demand for its vehicles.

Kia Motors sold 247,176 vehicles last month, up from 226,826 units a year earlier, the company said in a statement.

The monthly sales were buoyed by increased domestic and overseas sales of new and upgraded models, such as the Stonic subcompact SUV, the Stinger sports car, the Rio subcompact and the Sportage SUV, it said.

Domestic sales climbed 8.1 percent on-year to 47,046 units in May from 43,522. Overseas sales were up 9.2 percent to 200,130 from 183,304 over the same period, the statement said.

In the January-May period, Kia’s sales grew 3.9 percent to 1.13 million autos from 1.09 million units in the year-ago period, it said.

Renault Samsung Motors saw its May sales fall 22 percent from a year earlier due to weaker demand for its vehicles.

Renault Samsung sold 16,101 vehicles last month, down from 20,517 units a year earlier, the company said in a statement.

Domestic sales dropped 20 percent on-year to 7,342 units last month from 9,222 units. Exports also declined 23 percent to 8,759 from 11,295 during the same period, the statement said.

In the January-May period, overall sales fell 4.6 percent on-year to 104,097 autos from 109,080, it said. The company’s current lineup includes the SM3 compact, the all-electric SM3 Z.E. sedan, the QM3 subcompact SUV and the SM5, SM6 and SM7 sedans.

Renault SA owns an 80 percent stake in Renault Samsung.

SsangYong Motor sales rose 4.6 percent last month from a year earlier, helped by increased exports.

SsangYong Motor sold 12,920 vehicles in May, up from 12,349 units a year earlier, the company said in a statement.

Domestic sales fell 5.2 percent to 9,709 units last month from 10,238 a year earlier. But exports jumped 53 percent to 3,229 units from 2,111 during the same period, it said.

In the January-May period, the maker of the Rexton and Tivoli sport utility vehicles sold a combined 54,514 vehicles, down 5.4 percent from 57,648 a year earlier, the company said.

Indian carmaker Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. owns a 72.85 percent stake in SsangYong Motor.

GM Korea saw sales fall 5.1 percent from a year earlier due to weaker domestic demand.

GM Korea sold 40,879 vehicles last month, down from 43,085 units a year earlier, mainly because of a sharp decline in domestic sales, the company said in a statement.

Domestic sales plunged 35 percent to 7,670 units last month from 11,854 a year ago. Exports rose 6.3 percent to 33,209 units from 31,231 during the same period, it said.

The sales slump was mainly affected by weaker local demand for the Cruze subcompact and midsize Malibu sedans, the statement said.


Yonhap