SOUTH KOREA: Automakers’ yearly sales rise 5.7%
After coping with negative factors including the eurozone fiscal crisis last year, Korean automakers booked strong overseas sales despite a slump at home.
The five companies saw their collective sales climb by 5.65% in 2012 to about 8.19m units, from 7.75m units a year before, the Korea Herald reported.
Hyundai Motor reported year-on-year sales growth of 8.6% as sales increased by about 350,000 units to around 4.4m units ? an all-time high ? in 2012, from 4.05m units a year earlier.
The nation’s largest carmaker’s sales growth of 10.9% in the overseas market offset the 2.3% drop at home.
It sold about 3.73m units overseas, including the United States, China and Europe, compared with 3.36m units in 2011.
Hyundai said in a statement that its sales from factories in China and the Czech Republic grew about 15% and 20%, respectively.
Predicting continuing difficulties in the business environments at home and abroad, the company said: “We have set a sales target of 4.66m units this year, up 5.9% from 2012.”
Kia Motors reported 7.1% growth in yearly sales ? from 2.53m units in 2011 to 2.72m units in 2012.
Overseas shipments led the increase, with about 2.23m units sold, up 9.4% on-year, while domestic sales dipped 2.2% to 482,060 units.
Kia’s best-selling model was the Pride subcompact, with 380,064 units sold worldwide last year, followed by the New Sportage R with 373,000 units.
Ssangyong Motor said its 2012 sales increased by 6.8% from a year earlier, buoyed by brisk sales of its new models.
The company sold 120,717 vehicles last year, up from 113,001 units in 2011. Domestic sales surged 23.4% to 47,700 units as its new Korando C and Korando Sports vehicles posted 57.2% and 86.7% on-year growth in sales, respectively.
GM Korea saw its 2012 sales inch down 0.9% from a year earlier. It sold 800,639 vehicles last year, down from 808,309 units sold in 2011.
But the company expanded its presence in the local market as domestic sales climbed 3.6% on-year to a record high of 145,702 units thanks to its steady-selling models.
Renault Samsung Motors suffered lacklustre sales last year, reporting a 37.5% fall from 246,959 units in 2011 to 154,309 units in 2012.
But the Renault Group’s Korean unit saw its December sales increase by 11.8% from a month before. Its sales rose from 12,441 units in November to 13,909 units in December.
The company is pinning hopes on the flagship line-up ? the New SM5 Platinum and New SM3 ? to revitalise home market sales.
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