Sorento is helping Kia sales at home in South Korea

Sorento is helping Kia sales at home in South Korea

Domestic sales by South Korea’s five main automakers increased by 5.4% to 135,312 units in July, from 128,338 units in the same month of last year, according to data released individually by the vehicle manufacturers.

The data does not include sales by South Korea’s low volume commercial vehicle manufacturers, including Tata-Daewoo and Daewoo Bus Corporation, which typically account for less than 2% of the domestic market combined.

Domestic sales have been lifted by two successive 25 basis point cuts in the Bank of Korea’s benchmark interest rate to a historic low of 1.5% in the first half of the year. Demand for SUVs and MPVs was particularly strong.

Cumulative domestic sales in the first seven months of the year increased 3.9% to 868,045 units, from 835,111 units in the same period last year.

Global sales by the country’s 'big five' automakers fell by almost 5% to 681,141 units in July, compared with 716,738 units a year earlier, reflecting weak overseas demand - mainly in mainland China - and stronger competition due to the rising value of the won.

Cumulative global sales in the first seven months of 2015 fell by 2.0% to 5,089,985 units, from 5,189,222 units a year earlier.

Hyundai Motor’s global sales declined by just over 6% to 357,795 units in July, from 380,833 units a year earlier, as the company continued to struggle with a strong domestic currency and with weakening demand in key overseas markets – particularly in China.

Hyundai’s global sales in the first seven months of the year fell by 3.6% to 2,774,421 units, from 2,877,396 units a year earlier.

Hyundai’s domestic sales edged up just slightly in July, by 0.5% to 59,957 units from 59,640 units a year earlier, as competition from imports, and from smaller, more nimble brands, intensified. In the first seven months of the year, the company’s domestic sales declined by 2.5% to 396,036 units, from 406,074 units a year earlier. 

Overseas sales fell by 7.3% to 297,838 units in July, from 320,250 units a year earlier, driving cumulative seven month sales down by 3.7% to 2,378,385 units, from 2,470,308 units a year earlier.

Kia Motors’ global sales fell by close to 11% to 234,527 units in July, from 262,517 units in the same month of last year, reflecting tougher conditions in overseas market due to the strong won, as well as weakening demand in markets including China and Russia.

Cumulative global sales over the seven month period were 2.6% lower at 1,736,296 units, from 1,782,650 units previously. 

Overseas sales fell by 15.4% year on year to 186,325 units in July, from 215,120 units previously, as the company struggled with rising competition and weakening demand in key overseas markets.

The company’s domestic sales jumped by almost 14% to 48,202 units, from 43,324 units a year earlier, thanks mostly to the continued popularity of the Sorento and Sportage SUVs. The launch in July of the new K5 model is expected to help Kia's performance in the second half of the year.

GM Korea's global sales increased by close to 21% to 59,490 units in July, compared with year earlier sales of 49,337 units. This strong performance was driven by a 30% increase in exports to 47,088 units despite the parent company’s ongoing efforts to restructure the Chevrolet production base in favour of low cost countries.

Domestic sales fell by 6.8% to 12,402 units although second half sales are expected to be boosted by the recent launch of the new Spark mini car.

Cumulative global sales in the first seven months of the year fell by 2.5% to 367,369 units, from 376,617 units previously.

Renault-Samsung's global sales jumped by close to 42% to 17,516 units in July, from 12,367 units a year earlier, bringing the cumulative seven month total to 130,508 units – up by close to 74% year on year.

Overseas sales increased by almost 71% to 10,816 units in July, helped by the launch of exports of the Renault Rogue last year, while domestic sales were up by almost 11% at 6,700 units.

Ssangyong Motor, owned by India’s Mahindra & Mahindra, reported a 1.1% rise in global sales to 11,813 units in July, from a revised 11,684 units a year earlier – reflecting weak demand in some key overseas markets. Global sales fell by 4.9% to 81,391 units in the first seven months of the year.

Domestic sales jumped by over 36% year on year to 8,210 units, helped by the recent launch of the new Tivoli compact SUV. Overseas sales fell by over 36% to 3,603 units with demand in markets such as Russia and Ukraine particularly weak.

South Korean carmakers: domestic/overseas sales by brand, July 2015

Brands

Domestic

Overseas

Global

Hyundai

59,957

297,838

357,795

Kia

48,202

186,325

234,527

GM Korea

12,233

47,257

59,490

Renault-Samsung

6,700

10,816

17,516

Ssangyong

8,210

3,603

11,813

Total

135,312

545,839

681,141

Sources : www.AsiaMotorBusiness.com, industry sources.