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December 2, 2016

South Korean domestic sales rise 2% in November

Domestic sales among South Korea’s five main automakers rose by 2.2% to 144,814 units in November, from 141,711 units in the same month of last year, according to preliminary data released individually by the country’s vehicle manufacturers.

Domestic sales among South Korea’s five main automakers rose by 2.2% to 144,814 units in November, from 141,711 units in the same month of last year, according to preliminary data released individually by the country’s vehicle manufacturers.

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

Also not included in the data are sales of imported vehicles, which accounted for close to 15% of the total vehicle market last year. These are covered in a separate report when the data is released later in the month.

Industrial action at Hyundai and Kia continued to hold back the domestic market with the country’s smaller manufacturers driving the overall market forward last month. Heavy discounting by dealers and manufacturers has helped offset the re-introduction of the 5% car sales tax at the end of June from the previously discounted rate of 3.5%.

In the first 11 months of the year domestic sales were up by just 1.4% at 1,423,719 units, from 1,404,329 units in the same period of last year, with the market’s strong first-half performance almost entirely wiped out by sharp declines since then.

Global sales among the country’s ‘big-five’ automakers, including vehicles produced overseas by Hyundai-Kia, expanded by 5.6% to 868,458 units in November from 822,481 units a year earlier, as domestic and overseas sales turned positive after declines in previous months.

In the first 11 months of the year global sales were down by 1.1% at 7,974,928 units, from 8,060,439 units previously, largely on lower overseas sales.

Overseas sales, including overseas production by Hyundai-Kia, jumped by 6.3% to 723,644 units in November from 680,770 units in the same month of last year. Year-to-date sales were still 1.6% lower at 6,551,201 units compared with 6,660,227 units previously, however.

Hyundai Motor‘s global sales turned positive in November, with volumes rising by 4.5% to 472,052 units from 451,838 units a year earlier – reflecting a strong recovery in overseas sales which more than offset continued weakness in its home market.

Industrial action at its domestic plants continued in November, affecting the brand’s domestic market performance. In the first 11 months of the year, Hyundai’s global sales were 1.9% lower at 4,362,827 units, compared with 4,449,450 units in the same period of last year.

Hyundai’s domestic sales continued to decline in November, by over 13% to 56,632 from 65,166 units a year earlier, as industrial action at its domestic assembly plants continued to hold back supply. 

Cumulative 11-month sales were 7.2% lower at 686,485 units compared with 632,061 units in the same period of last year, despite strong growth in the first half of the year.

Overseas sales jumped by 7.3% to 415,420 units in November, from 386,672 units a year earlier, reflecting a return to growth in North America while its India unit also posted strong growth. Cumulative 11-month overseas sales, including vehicles produced overseas, were 2.1% lower at 2,904,267 units compared with 2,966,635 units previously.

Kia Motors‘ global sales rebounded by 6.2% to 304,086 units in November, from 286,303 units a year earlier, reflecting a strong recovery in overseas sales while domestic sales remained negative. Cumulative 11-month global sales were still 1.3% lower at 2,705,912 units, compared with 2,742,914 units a year earlier.

Domestic sales fell by 2.2% to 48,906 units last month, from 50,031 a year earlier, with deliveries continuing to be affected by partial strike action at its domestic plants. Cumulative 11-month volumes were 2.3% higher at 485,400 units, compared with 474,624 units a year earlier, reflecting the brand’s strong first-half performance.

Overseas sales rebounded strongly in November, by 8% to 255,180 units from 236,272 a year earlier, reflecting strong production and sales growth in North America. Year-to-date overseas sales were 2.1% lower at 2,220,514 units, compared with 2,268,275 units previously.

GM Korea‘s global sales rose by 3.9% to 53,042 units in November, from 51,051 units a year earlier, with strong domestic sales continuing to make up for weak exports. Cumulative global sales in the first 11 months of the year were 3.2% lower at 542,884 units, compared with 560,984 units in the same period of last year.

The data did not include exports of CKD kits for assembly overseas, which are substantial.

Domestic sales jumped by more than 50% to 17,236 units last month, from 11,446 units a year earlier, following the recent launch of the new Chevrolet Malibu mid-size sedan and strong demand for the Spark mini-car. Cumulative eleven-month sales rose by close to 16% to 161,962 units. 

Shipments of CBUs (completely built-up units) to overseas markets fell by 9.6% to 35,806 units in November from 39,606 units a year earlier, resulting in a year-to-date drop of 9.3% to 380,922 units. 

Renault-Samsung‘s global sales continued to rebound strongly in November, by more than 22% to 25,550 units from 20,873 units a year earlier, following the recent launch of the new SM6 mid-size sedan and the QM6 crossover vehicle. 

In the first 11 months of the year the company’s global sales rose by over 10% to 224,729 units, compared with 203,528 units in the same period of last year.

New models helped domestic sales more than double to 12,565 units last month, from depressed year-earlier volumes, resulting in a 39% jump in year-to-date sales to 97,023 units, from 69,782 units previously.

Exports fell by close to 13% to 12,985 units in November from 14,867 a year earlier, reflecting the disruption caused by the changeover to the new SM5 and the QM5 models in overseas markets. Cumulative eleven-month exports were still 15% higher at 119,156 units. 

Ssangyong Motor, owned by Mahindra & Mahindra, reported a sales rise of built-up vehicles of close to 11% to 13,728 units in November from 12,415 units a year earlier – driven by strong demand for the Tivoli SUV.

Cumulative 11-month global sales were 7.4% higher at 139,049 units, compared with 129,425 units in the same period of last year.

Domestic sales rose by 4.6% to 9,475 units last month and were up by 5.1% at 92,854 units year-to-date. CBU exports jumped by close to 27% to 4,253 units on strong EU demand for the new Tivoli Air SUV and demand from emerging markets such as Iran. Year-to-date exports rose by 12.6% rise to 46,285 units.

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