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S. Korea's domestic car sales plunge in August

Publication Date : 04-09-2012


Domestic car sales by South Korea's five automakers in August plunged 22.4 per cent on-year, but Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors posted robust overseas production and sales, data showed on Monday.

Hyundai Motor sold 293,924 vehicles at home and abroad in August, down 4.6 per cent from a year earlier, as domestic sales alone fell almost 30 per cent.

South Korea's largest carmaker’s monthly domestic sales tumbled 29.9 per cent on-year to 35,950 units, mainly due to weaker domestic demand and the aftermath of its strikes.

But the company said that sales of vehicles produced in its overseas factories came to 204,641 units in August ― a rise of 14 per cent compared to 179,553 units a year earlier.

Hyundai operates plants in the Czech Republic, Turkey, India, Russia, China and the United States.

“We have been expanding annual production capacity of the overseas factories amid steady global demand,” a company spokesman said.

“But exports of cars produced in Korean plants reduced on a year-on-year basis in the wake of a labor union protest last month,” he added.

The company saw its exports nosedive 31 per cent from 77,305 units in August 2011 to 53,333 units in August 2012.

Kia Motors also reported a robust growth in overseas car sales as well as production last month.

Kia, a unit of Hyundai Motor Group, posted growth of 21.5 per cent in sales of cars from overseas factories ― from 79,050 units to 96,016 units over the corresponding period.

Kia, which has overseas factories in countries including Slovakia, China and the US, is seeking to make inroads into emerging countries in terms of building manufacturing plants.

In the same vein, however, its exports of cars rolled out in Korea dropped by 17.7 per cent from 76,287 units to 62,810 units.

In addition, Hyundai and Kia suffered a year-on-year sales drop by 29.9 per cent and 12.4 per cent at home, respectively.

GM Korea said its August sales fell 17 per cent from a year before due mainly to contracted domestic and overseas sales.

The Korean unit of the US-based General Motors sold 45,167 units last month, compared with 54,444 units sold a year ago.

Its domestic sales slipped 14 per cent to 9,808 units, while exports dropped 17.8 per cent to 35,359 vehicles.

For the January-August period, the company sold a cumulative 515,037 units of vehicles, down 3.7 per cent on-year.

Renault Samsung Motors saw its August sales plunge 59.4 per cent from a year earlier due to a slump in domestic and overseas sales.

The France-based carmaker sold 11,082 units last month, compared with 27,328 units sold a year ago.

Its sales at home dropped by 63.9 per cent on-year to 4,001 units, with outbound shipments falling 56.4 per cent on-year to 7,081 vehicles.

Renault Samsung posted total sales of 105,001 vehicles during the January-August period, down 40.4 per cent from a year earlier.

Ssangyong Motor said its August sales fell 9.5 per cent from a year earlier due to contracted overseas demand.

The company delivered 9,136 vehicles last month, compared to 10,100 units sold a year before.

Its domestic sales climbed by 8 per cent on-year to 3,706 units, with overseas sales falling by 18.6 per cent on-year to 5,430 vehicles.


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