Hyundai and KIA led an increase in sales by South Korean car makers last month as exports to the US, Europe and other markets helped overcome slowing demand at home, wire reports carried by The Detroit News said.

The car makers, also including GM Daewoo Auto & Technology, SsangYong Motor and Renault Samsung Motors, sold a combined 299,041 units in September, 14% more than a year earlier, while exports surged 46% to 204,020 units and domestic sales fell 23% to 95,021, the reports said.

The Detroit News said Hyundai, Kia and other South Korean car makers have been focusing on exports this year as an economic slowdown at home curbed consumer spending on new cars and other products – wholesale and retail sales of cars and fuel dropped 16.3% year on year in August, the biggest drop since November 1998.

The report said Hyundai domestic sales fell 17% year on year to 48,541 units in September, while exports, not including those made in plants outside South Korea, jumped 22% to 95,122 units.

Meanwhile, the Detroit News added, Kia sold 94,514 units last month, 11% more than a year earlier, helped by exports, and its sales at home dropped 27% year on year to 25,050 units in September while exports jumped 36% to 69,464 units.

GM Daewoo Auto sales more than doubled to 43,061 units last month, helped by a surge in exports, domestic sales plunged 47% from a year earlier as the company sold 4,904 units, and exports more than quadrupled to 38,157 units as it started shipping Kalos and Lacetti cars to the US and Canada, the Detroit News said.