Sales by the five South Korean automakers fell 7.5% year on year last month but strikes and summer holidays were blamed mostly for the shortfall rather than the economic malaise.

Hyundai Motor, Kia Motors, GM Daewoo Auto & Technology, Ssangyong Motor and Renault Samsung Motors sold 366,295 vehicles, down from 396,051 units a year earlier.

Ssangyong posted the biggest drop of 36% from 11,421 units to 7,302. Home market sales fell 47% from 5,301 to 2,805 units and its exports were down 27% from 6,120 to 4,497 units.

Hyundai saw a 7.7% August sales drop to 196,826 units - domestic sales were off 25% to 38,023 units while exports fell 2.1% to 158,803.

Kia's sales last month were down 2.8% to 93,290 units with Korea sales up 1.3% to 23,305 units and exports off 4.1% at 69,985 units.

GM Daewoo sales fell 18% from 60,781 to 49,622 units. Its domestic sales fell 28% to 6583 units while its mostly Chevrolet-branded exports were off 17% to 43,039 units.

Renault Samsung August sales rose 31% to 19,255 units thanks largley to healthy exports of the QM5 SUV which is branded the Renault Koleos overseas. Its Korea sales fell 6.5% to 9,371 units last month  while exports rose from 4,686 to 9,884 units.