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November 3, 2015

SOUTH KOREA: Vehicle sales up 20% in October

Domestic sales among South Korea's five main automakers increased by 20.3% to 146,106 units in October, from 121,430 units a year earlier, according to data released individually by the vehicle manufacturers.

Domestic sales among South Korea's five main automakers increased by 20.3% to 146,106 units in October, from 121,430 units a year earlier, 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.

The domestic vehicle market, and the domestic economy as a whole, continues to benefit from government stimulus including historically-low benchmark interest rates of 1.5%.

At the end of August the government cut consumption tax on cars and other consumer goods from 5% to 3.5% to bolster domestic demand and offset weak exports. These cuts will be in place until the end of the year and are beginning to show through in the domestic market data.

Domestic vehicle sales in the first ten months of 2015 rose by 7.7% to 1,262,618 units, from 1,172,712 units in the same period of last year.

Global sales among the country's "big-five" automakers jumped by 8.7% to 815,294 in October, from 749,760 units a year earlier, reflecting strong demand at home, a sales rebound in China after six months of decline, and strong demand in other key overseas markets such as India and North America.

Global sales in the first ten months of 2015 were down by just 0.4% at 7,237,958 units, from 7,274,174 units previously.

Hyundai Motor's global sales increased by 6.3% to 458,375 units in October, from 431,087 units a year earlier, reflecting a sharp rise in domestic sales and also an improving performance overseas, especially in China, reflecting recent efforts to intensify marketing campaigns in key global markets.

In the first nine months of the year global sales were still negative, however, by 1.5% at 3,996,620 units compared with 4,056,329 units a year earlier.

Hyundai's domestic sales jumped by 16.7% to 67,807 units in October, from 58,103 units a year earlier, reflecting strong demand for the new Avante sub-compact car and the larger Sonata model. SUVs such as the Tuscon and Santa Fe also made substantial year-on-year gains last month.

Over the ten-month period, Hyundai's domestic sales rose by 1.2% to 566,895 units, from 560,109 units a year earlier, reflecting its struggle to keep pace with imports for most of the year.

Overseas sales increased by 4.7% in October to 390,569 units, from 371,243 units a year earlier.

Kia Motors' global sales jumped by 16.1% to 268,954 units in October, from 231,706 units a year earlier, with new models helping to drive sales higher both at home and abroad.

Cumulative global sales in the first ten months of the year were 1.4% lower at 2,456,611 units, however, reflecting weak exports to China and Eastern Europe.

Domestic sales jumped by 25.9% year-on-year to 46,605 units in October, reflecting strong demand for the Sportage SUV and the newly launched K5 passenger car. Overseas sales increased by 14.2% to 222,349 units last month, as sales in China stabilized and as demand remained strong in key markets such as North America.

GM Korea's global sales grew by 2.2% to 54,671 units in October, from 53,503 units a year earlier, reflecting an 8.6% increase in domestic sales to 14,675 units on strong demand for the Spark mini-car and SUVs. Exports were unchanged at 39,996 units.

In the first ten months of the year GM Korea's global sales increased by 2.3% to 509,482 units.

Renault-Samsung's global sales fell by 9.3% to 19,935 units in October, compared with 21,980 units a year earlier, after many months of continuous strong growth. Domestic and overseas sales were both weaker last month.

Domestic sales fell by 4.7% year-on-year to 7,011 units on stronger competition from its larger domestic rivals, while exports fell by 11.6% to 12,924 units – reflecting mainly lower shipments to China.

In the first ten months of the year, Renault-Samsung's global sales were up by over 47% 182,655 units.

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

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