Though sales dipped towards the end of the year, in line with most markets, South Korea's auto industry nonetheless posted a modest increase for the full year.

The country's five domestic automakers led by Hyundai Motor sold a combined 5.35m units in 2008, up 2.4% year on year.

Domestic sales fell 5.1% to 1.15m units while exports rose 4.7% to 4.21m units.

Hyundai Motor sales rose 6.9% to 2.78m, short of the initially targeted 3.11m.

Hyundai's home market sales fell 8.7% to 570,962 units, but exports rose 11.8% to 2.21m.