SOUTH KOREA: Exports help car makers hike sales 13% in November - report
South Korean car makers, led by Hyundai Motor, reported a 13% rise in November sales as strong exports to the key US and European markets more than faltering stumbling sales at home, a Reuters report said.
The news agency noted that many South Koreans have deferred car purchases - part of a pattern of fragile consumer spending that has held back the South Korean economy - though exports are growing thanks to a recovering global economy.
The country's five car makers reportedly sold a combined 364,261 vehicles in November, up from 322,395 a year earlier, while exports rose 36% to 265,678 vehicles as domestic sales fell 22.5% to 98,583.
Hyundai Motor and GM Daewoo Automotive & Technology reported rises but ut sales fell at Renault Samsung Motors, Ssangyong Motor and Hyundai subsidiary Kia Motors, Reuters said.
"The auto makers will see low-base effect from the second quarter next year on year-on-year domestic sales, whereas export growth will slow inevitably," Lee Young-min, an analyst at Meritz Securities, told the news agency.
Hyundai Motor sold 184,887 vehicles in November, up 11.5% from 165,795 a year ago, Reuters said, adding that exports rose 27.8% to 135,832 while domestic sales slipped 17.6% to 49,055. The figures include sales from Hyundai's overseas plants, the report noted.
Kia Motors reportedly said sales fell 7% to 98,528 vehicles - domestic sales fell 32% to 25,111 while exports rose 6.5% to 73,417.
According to Reuters, GM Daewoo Automotive and Technology sales more than doubled to 63,033 vehicles from 28,822, thanks to a surge in exports.
Sales by sport utility vehicle maker Ssangyong Motor fell 9.4% to 11,141 while Renault Samsung Motors, which has shown interest in Ssangyong, saw its sales fall by 30% to 6,672 in November, Reuters said.
The company, which is heavily dependent on domestic sales, has halted production since Friday for a week because of slow demand, the report noted.