Domestic sales among South Korea’s five main automakers fell by less than 1% year on year to 121,430 units in October, according to data released individually by the vehicle manufacturers.

The data does not include sales of low-volume commercial vehicle manufacturers, such as Tata-Daewoo and Daewoo Bus Corporation.

The sluggish market conditions followed strong annualised growth in September of 9.5% to 110,662 units when dealers restocked after earlier production stoppages due to industrial action. The domestic market in October was driven lower by particularly weak sales of Kia and GM Korea vehicles. 

Sales of imported vehicles continued to perform strongly, however, with sales jumping by 16.1% to 16,436 units last month.

Global sales among the 'big five' fell by 2.3% to 748,133 units in October, with Kia, GM Korea and Ssangyong reporting sharply lower overseas sales.

Hyundai Motor reported a 1% increase in domestic sales to 58,103 units in October, from 57,553 units a year earlier, with strong demand for the Sonata and Genesis models and the introduction of a second shift at its Jeonju plant more than offsetting weak SUV sales.

Global sales increased by 1.9% to 429,346 units, reflecting strong growth in overseas output, particularly in China and North America, which more than made up for declining exports from South Korea.

Kia Motors saw its domestic vehicle sales fall by 5.1% to 37,005 units after a sharp rebound of over 20% in September when domestic output recovered from earlier industrial action.

Overseas sales were 7.3% lower at 194,701 units, while global sales fell by 7% to 231,706 units. 

GM Korea reported 3% drop in domestic sales to 13,507 units reflecting mainly weak demand for the Spark minicar and the Cruze compact car. Demand for larger models, such as the Malibu, Alpheon and Trax SUV, was buoyant, however.

GM Korea’s overseas sales fell by 26.1% to 39,996 units as GM continued to reduce the global presence of its Chevrolet brand, particularly in Europe.

Renault-Samsung reported an almost 73% jump in global sales in October to a record 21,980 units, reflecting strong overseas and domestic demand. Domestic sales increased by close to 38% 7,360 units, thanks to strong demand for the SM5 and SM7 models.

Overseas shipments jumped by over 98% to 14,620 units thanks to the popularity of the Nissan Rogue crossover and the QM5 SUV models.

Ssangyong Motor’s global sales fell by 18.6% to 11,598 units in October reflecting mainly a sharp drop in sales in some key overseas markets, such as Russia and the Ukraine.

South Korean carmakers: domestic/overseas sales by brand, October 2014

 

Domestic

Overseas

Global

Hyundai

58,103

371,243

429,346

Kia

37,005

194,701

231,706

GM Korea

13,507

39,996

53,503

Renault-Samsung

7,360

14,620

21,980

Ssangyong

5,455

6,143

11,598

Total

121,430

626,703

748,133

Source: industry sources, www.AsiaMotorBusiness.com