Hyundai saw overseas sales rise in May but domestic sales sank 23% from a year ago making it South Korea’s only local brand to record falling home sales for two months in a row.

It is facing stiff competition from sister brand Kia, which has launched new models and aggressive marketing by importers, particularly Toyota.

Hyundai lowered the price of its Genesis sedan from today by dropping some of its more expensive options as foreign cars gain ground at more affordable prices.

Further competition could come from Ssangyong Motor which is currently attracting the interest of outside carmakers such as Renault and Mahindra & Mahindra.

Although Hyundai’s sales grew 19% in May to 298,036 vehicles from a year earlier, domestic sales fell 22.7% to 49,228 units.

The company said in a statement: “May of last year saw a sharp increase in sales with the introduction of the clunker subsidies and ahead of the end of consumption tax cuts. That made the pace of sales fall bigger, and deepening competition for major models weighed on May sales."

Analysts believe that Hyundai's overseas sales could benefit from the weaker won following tensions with North Korea.

Sales at Kia Motors rose 33.3% in May from a year earlier helped by the full launch of its US plant in Georgia, which produces Sorento R SUVs, which bumped up overseas sales by 46.1%.