Domestic sales by South Korea’s five main automakers increased by 6.5% to 126,943 units in November, from 119,195 units a year earlier, 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 market was lifted by the recent interest rate cuts by the Bank of Korea as well as by new models released by the mainstream manufacturers over the last few months including the Kia Carnival (aka Sedona for export) and Sorento, and strong demand for the Hyundai Genesis and Sonata.

Global sales among the 'big-five', including previously unreported knocked down (KD) kit exports by GM Korea, amounted to 860,264 units – driven higher primarily by stronger demand at home and in key overseas markets such as China and the USA.

Hyundai Motor reported a 2.6% increase in domestic sales to 55,725 units in November, from 54,302 units a year earlier, reflecting a sharp rise in demand for passenger cars such as the Sonata and Genesis models - with overall volumes rising by 11.5% to 29,890 units. Domestic commercial vehicle sales rose by 5.6% to 15,826 units, while SUV sales fell by 20.1% to 10,009 units.

Global sales increased by 4.3% to 430,026 units, reflecting a 5.6% increase in overseas output to 263,920 units – driven mostly by strong growth in China and North America. Built-up (CBU) vehicle exports from South Korea increased by just 1.9% to 110,381 units.

Kia Motors’s domestic sales increased to 44,500 units helped by the recent introduction of the Sorento and Carnival models, while the Morning (Picanto) sub-compact car remained the country’s most popular model with 9,347 sales. Overseas sales reached 223,234 units, helping to drive global sales up by 4.1% to 267,734 units. 

GM Korea reported a 12.5% drop in domestic sales to 12,344 units, from 14,100 units a year earlier, reflecting weak demand for the Chevrolet Spark mini-car and the Cruze compact. Larger models such as the Malibu and Alpheon passenger cars and Trax SUV performed well, however. GM Korea’s CBU vehicle exports fell to 39,874 units while KD kit exports accounted for a further 77,987 units.

Renault-Samsung global sales jumped by almost 57% to a record 22,077 vehicles in November, from 14,071 units a year earlier, with both domestic sales and exports rising sharply. Domestic sales rose by close to 62% to 8,568 units, thanks to strong demand for the SM5 passenger car and the new QM3 small crossover SUV. Exports were up by 54% to 13,509 units with sales of the Nissan Rogue [aka X-Trail] compact SUV accounting for 7,350 of these.

Ssangyong Motor’s global sales fell by 27.5% to 10,222 units in November. Exports, including CBUs and KD kits, fell by 41.5% to 4,416 units – driven lower by weak demand in key markets in Russia and the Ukraine. Domestic sales amounted to 5,806 units.

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













GM Korea
















Source: industry sources,

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