All five South Korean carmakers saw January sales increase year on year due to strong export demand, industry data showed on Tuesday.
Total sales rose 21.9% to 626,806 vehicles. Domestic sales grew 1.4% to 120,577 units and overseas sales, including exports, jumped 28.1% to 506,229 units, the Korea Herald said.
Hyundai Motor affiliate Kia Motors said January sales increased 33.1% to 217,243 vehicles last month, the third straight month it has sold more than 200,000 cars.
Domestic sales rose 19.1% from a year earlier to 40,502 units last month, with exports jumping 36.8% to 176,741 vehicles.
GM Daewoo Auto & Technology boosted volume 21.5% to 68,356 vehicles but that was a 3.9% drop from December.
Domestic sales rose 10.4% from the same period last year to 10,006 units with exports jumping 23.6% year on year to 58,350, up 2.7% from the previous month.
Ssangyong Motor, about to be swallowed up by Mahindra and Mahindra, saw its sales soar 64.7% year on year on strong overseas demand to 7,579 vehicles.
Domestic sales increased 41.8% on-year to 2,857 units with exports jumping 82.6% to 4,722 vehicles.
Hyundai Motor and Renault Samsung Motors exports rose but domestic sales in January declined. Hyundai sales in January increased 14.2% as a large increase in overseas sales more than offset a domestic sales drop of 7.3% to 55,412 units. Exports rose 20.3% to 254,388 vehicles.
Renault Samsung also posted similar changes. Last month, its overall sales increased 27.6% as an exports rise offset the decline in domestic sales. Domestic sales plunged 15.7% from a year earlier and 10.5% from December to 11,800 units. Exports kept the company’s sales growing from a year before with 12,028 vehicles shipped overseas, up 157.4% from the same month in 2010.
The company last week said it had introduced its mid-size passenger vehicle, the SM5, to Europe as the Renault Latitude.
Exports more than doubled to 115,785 units last year from a year earlier, but the company is still largely considered a domestic player as its domestic sales surpassed exports by nearly 40,000 units in 2010.
“Based on increased exports, Renault Samsung Motors will improve its image as a global enterprise while promoting balanced growth between exports and domestic sales,” a senior executive said.