Hyundais overseas sales continued to drop sharply last month despite the launch of the new Kona SUV in export markets

Hyundai's overseas sales continued to drop sharply last month despite the launch of the new Kona SUV in export markets

Domestic sales by South Korea's five largest automakers combined fell by 3.1% to 140,342 units in November from 144,814 units a year earlier, according to preliminary data released individually by the vehicle manufacturers. 

The data did not include sales by South Korea's low volume commercial vehicle manufacturers such as Tata-Daewoo and Daewoo Bus Corporation, which typically account for up to 2% of the domestic vehicle market.

Also not included in the data were sales of imported vehicles, which exceeded 12% of the total vehicle market last year. These will be covered in a separate report when the data is released later in the month.

The domestic market in November was supported by strong Hyundai sales, which increased by almost 13% to 63,895 units, thanks to a significant number of new models this year, while sales by sister company Kia were only slightly higher at 49,027 units. The smaller domestic brands all reported weaker sales last month.

In the first 11 months of the year, domestic sales were 0.4% lower at 1,417,765 units compared with 1,423,720 units in the same period of last year.

Global sales by the country's 'big-five' automakers, including vehicles produced overseas by Hyundai and Kia, fell by 12.2% to 762,967 units in November from 868,842 units a year earlier – reflecting lower domestic and overseas sales. Volumes in the first 11 months of the year also lower, by 6.5% at 7,453,042 units from 7,975,041 units in the same period of last year.

Overseas sales, including vehicles produced overseas by Hyundai and Kia, fell by 14% to 622,625 units last month from 724,028 sales a year earlier. In the first 11 months of the year, overseas sales were 7.9% lower at 6,035,275 units from 6,550,912 units previously, reflecting mainly sharply lower Hyundai and Kia sales in the US and China.

The country's two leading car brands are hopeful an improvement in diplomatic relations between South Korea and China will help improve their sales prospects in the world's largest vehicle market in the coming months. Sales in the USA are also expected to improve following with the launch of new models, including popular SUVs.

Hyundai Motor's global sales fell by 10.4% to 422,940 units in November from 471,015 units a year earlier on weaker overseas sales. In the first 11 months of the year, the brand's global sales were down by 6.1% at 4,096,332 units from 4,363,142 units previously.

Domestic sales continued to expand in November, by 12.8% to 63,895 units from 56,632 units a year earlier, driven by strong demand for the new models such as the Grandeur and Sonata sedans and Tucson and Kona SUVs. Cumulative 11 month domestic sales were more than 8.4% higher at 635,578 units compared with 586,481 units a year earlier.

Hyundai's overseas sales continued to drop sharply last month, however, by 13.6% to 359,045 units from 415,383 units a year earlier, despite the launch of the new Kona SUV in overseas markets. The company continued to struggle with weak demand in the US and declining volume in China.

In the first 11 months of the year the company's overseas sales were 8.4% lower at 3,460,754 units compared with 3,776,661 units previously. Sales in the US fell by almost 13% to 622,000 units in the 11 month period.

The latest data from China shows sales fell by close to 48% to 255,000 units in the first 10 months of the year while, in Europe, volume was up by 3.3% at 429,066 units in the same period.

Kia Motors' global sales fell by 14.7% to 259,643 units in November from 304,507 units a year earlier, reflecting weak overseas sales. In the first 11 months of the year, the company's global sales were 7.5% lower at 2,502,615 units compared with 2,705,279 units in the same period of last year.

Domestic sales increased slightly last month, by just 0.2% to 49,027 units from 48,906 units a year earlier, after a sharp decline in the previous month due to longer than usual annual holidays. In the first 11 months of the year, domestic sales were 2.1% lower at 475,068 units from 485,400 units a year earlier.

Overseas sales fell by more than 17.6% to 210,616 in November from 255,601 units a year earlier, mainly reflecting weaker sales in the US and China. Cumulative 11 month overseas sales were 8.7% lower at 2,027,648 units compared with 2,219,878 units in the same period last year.

In the first 11 months of the year Kia's sales in the US were almost 8% lower at 547,000 units. The latest data from China showed sales for the January-October period were 34% lower at 569,000 units, while, in Europe, sales were 8.5% higher at 394,835 units.

GM Korea's global sales fell by close to 20% to 42,543 in November, from 53,042 units a year earlier, reflecting sharply lower domestic and overseas sales. In the first 11 months of the year built-up vehicle sales were down by almost 12% at 479,058 units compared with 542,884 units in the same period of last year.

The data do not include exports of knocked down kits for assembly overseas, which are significant.

Domestic sales continued to plunge last month, by almost 40% to 10,349 units from 17,236 units a year earlier, with a lack of new products putting the brand under pressure from rising competition from Hyundai and Kia. Year to date domestic sales were close to 26% lower at 120,525 units from 161,962 units previously.

CBU exports fell by just over 10% to 32,194 units in November compared with 35,806 units a year earlier and were down by 5.9% year-to-date at 358,532 from 380,922 units previously.

Renault-Samsung's global sales inched up by 0.8% to 25,759 units in November from 25,550 units a year earlier, with a sharp jump in exports offsetting weak domestic sales. Cumulative 11 month sales increased 7.7% at 250,113 units from 232,177 units previously.

Domestic sales continued to plunge in November, by almost 34% to 8,302 units from 12,565 units a year earlier, with the recent launch of a petrol version of the QM6 flagship SUV and an upgraded SM5 sedan unable to fend off rising competition from Hyundai and Kia. 

Cumulative 11 month sales were down by 6.6% at 90,602 units compared with 97,023 units a year earlier. 

CBU exports jumped by more than 34% to 17,457 units in November from 12,985 units a year earlier on strong demand for the SM6 flagship sedan and the QM6. In the first 11 months of the year, exports were more than 24% higher at 159,710 units from 128,336 units previously.

Ssangyong Motor, majority owned by India's Mahindra & Mahindra, reported a 12% fall in sales of built up vehicles to 12,082 units in November compared with 13,728 units a year earlier, reflecting weaker domestic and overseas sales.

In the first 11 months of the year, global sales were 6.9% lower at 129,477 units compared with 139,139 units previously.

Domestic sales fell by 7.5% to 8,769 units last month from 9,475 units a year earlier, while cumulative 11 month sales were 2.3% higher at 99,360 units from 97,132 units previously. 

CBU exports dropped by more than 22% to 3,313 units last month from 4,253 units a year earlier and by close to 28% to 33,447 units year to date from 46,285 units. The company hopes the roll-out of the latest Rexton in Europe and the Middle East will help reverse this decline in the coming months.

South Korean carmakers: domestic/overseas sales by brand, November 2017

Brands DomesticOverseas*Global
Hyundai 63895359045422940
Kia49027210616259643
GM Korea103493219442543
Renault-Samsung83021745725759
Ssangyong8769331312082
Total140342622625762967

Sources : www.AsiaMotorBusiness.com, industry sources. * excludes CKD exports.

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