Domestic sales by South Korea’s five main automakers combined fell by 2% to 117,622 units in October 2023 from 120,192 a year earlier, according to preliminary wholesale data released individually by the manufacturers. The data do not include sales by South Korea’s low-volume commercial vehicle manufacturers including Tata-Daewoo and Edison Motors, while import brands are covered in a separate report.

The domestic vehicle market in October was underpinned mainly by a strong performance by Hyundai, while overall sales look to be slowing after the strong rebound in the first half of the year – with consumers and local businesses come under increasing pressure from higher borrowing costs following last year’s sharp interest rate hikes.

In the first ten month of the year domestic vehicle sales were up by almost 7% at 1,208,169 units year-on-year from 1,131,060 units, with Hyundai Motor reporting a 13% rise to 627,847units and Kia Corporation an 8% increase to 473,430 units. GM Korea’s sales were just slightly at 33,525 units in this period, underpinned by the introduction of the new Trax crossover model at its Changwon plant in February. KG Mobility’s sales were down by 3% at 54,788 units, while Renault Korea’s sales plunged by 58% to 18,579 units.