SOUTH KOREA: Despite strikes, August sales rise
South Korean car makers reported a combined 4.7% rise in August sales on Friday, lifted by higher exports and after union workers at Hyundai made up for the output lost during a month-long strike.
Reuters said labour strikes at Kia and Ssangyong dragged down overall sales while local sales dipped on weak consumer sentiment.
"The end to labour strife at Hyundai helped lift August sales overall, but demand at home and abroad is not expected to rapidly increase," Choi Dae-sik, an auto analyst at CJ Investment Securities, told the news agency.
"Lower oil prices are a possible bright spot, but it is to early to say falls in oil prices will propel demand."
Combined August vehicle sales at South Korea's five auto makers gained to 398,453 vehicles from 380,716 a year earlier.
Exports were up 6.4% to 309,602 vehicles last month, with domestic sales down 1.1% to 88,851, Reuters added.
Hyundai sold 224,537 vehicles in August, 24.6% more than a year ago and 73.9% higher than July's revised figure of 129,122. It exported 173,223 vehicles in August, up 28.5% from a year earlier.
Sales from Hyundai's overseas plants rose 30.3% to 76,600 units in August from a year before, the report said.
GM Daewoo Automotive and Technology posted a 6.1% rise to 97,423 units in overall sales last month with exports up 3.8%.
Renault Samsung Motors also reported a 53.5% surge in August sales to 13,450 cars, thanks to booming exports, Reuters said.
Strike-hit Kia saw a 31.9% decline in August sales to 60,312 cars compared with a year ago, led by more than 30% falls in both exports and local sales.
Ssangyong Motor, posted a 76% drop to 2,731 cars in August sales, hit by a strike, Reuters added.