Domestic sales among South Korea’s five main automakers increased by 1.8% to 121,239 units in May, from 119,104 units sold in the same month of last year, according to data released by the country’s mainstream vehicle manufacturers.

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

Global sales among the South Korean "big five" reached 762,548 units last month, including vehicles produced domestically and abroad, while overseas sales hit 641,904 units.

Hyundai Motor reported a 3.4% rise in domestic sales to 59,911 units in May, from 57,942 units a year earlier, driven by strong demand for passenger cars. Sales of the revamped Sonata and the new Genesis models continue to grow strongly. 

Hyundai’s global sales increased by 3.0% to 414,961 units, compared with 402,880 units a year earlier. Overseas sales increased by just 2.9% to 355,050 units, from 344,938 units a year earlier, with exports rising by 3% to 99,105 units and overseas production rising by 2.9% to 255,945 units.

Kia Motors’ domestic sales fell by 8.2% year on year to 36,252 in May, with the recent new model releases by Hyundai affecting demand for the brand. The imminent launch of the new Carnival [Sedona] and Sorrento models are expected to help revive Kia’s domestic performance, however.

Kia’s overseas sales rose by 1.5% to 217,366 units, bringing global sales to 253,618 units, helped by growing output at its overseas plants. Models such as the K3, K5 and Sportage were particularly popular overseas.

GM Korea reported a rise of over 15% in domestic sales to 11,810 units in May, from 10,260 units a year earlier, helped by the recent launch of the new Cruze and Spark models. Exports increased by 3.6% to 54,564 units.

Ssangyong Motor reported a 5.1% drop in global sales to 12,078 units in May, with domestic sales accounting for 5,271 of these and exports, including CKD kits, amounting to 6,807 units.

Renault-Samsung’s domestic sales increased by almost 61% to 7,400 units, which helped drive global sales up by over 41% to 13,532 units – to move above Ssangyong.

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

Domestic

Overseas

Global

Hyundai

59,911

355,050

414,961

Kia

36,252

217,366

253,618

GM Korea

11,810

56,549

68,359

Renault-Samsung

7,400

6,132

13,532

Ssangyong

5,271

6,807

12,078

Total

120,644

641,904

762,548

Source: industry sources, AsiaMotorBusiness.com