Though June sales dipped, Kias volume in the first six months of the year was still 4.6% higher at 267,700 units

Though June sales dipped, Kia's volume in the first six months of the year was still 4.6% higher at 267,700 units

Domestic sales by South Korea's five largest automakers combined fell by 5.7% to 131,827 vehicles in June from 139,842 units in the same month of last year, 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 less than 1% of the domestic vehicle market.

Also not included were sales of imported vehicles, which accounted for just under 13% of the total vehicle market last year. These will be covered in a separate report when the data is released later this month.

All vehicle manufacturers reported weaker sales last month, which some have attributed to fewer working days compared with last year, with local elections also having an impact.

Hyundai's domestic sales fell by 3.8% to 59,494 units, while Kia reported a 2.2% decline to an estimated 46,000 units. 

The smaller manufacturers reported the sharpest falls, including GM Korea which saw its sales fall by 17% to 9,529 units, Ssangyong by 8.1% to 9,684 units and Renault-Samsung by 21% to 7,120 units. 

Overall domestic sales declined by 2.9% to 757,003 units in the first half of the year compared with 779,685 units in the same period of last year.

Global sales among the country's big-five automakers, including vehicles produced overseas by Hyundai and Kia, rose by 9.9% to 746,483 units in June from 679,545 units a year earlier – reflecting a recent rebound in overseas sales. Overall sales in the first half of the year were up by 2.2% at 4,055,138 units from 3,967,855 units previously. 

Overseas sales, including vehicles produced overseas by Hyundai and Kia, increased by 13.9% to 614,656 units last month from 539,703 units in the same month last year, as sales in China began to recover from weak year earlier levels while sales in other key emerging markets such as Brazil and Russia continued to grow strongly.

Overseas sales in the first six months of the year were 3.7% higher at 3,298,135 units compared with 3,181,367 units in the year earlier period.

Hyundai Motor's global sales jumped by 15.4% to 414,222 units in June from 359,022 units a year earlier, reflecting higher overseas sales. Deliveries in the first six months of the year were 4.6% higher at 2,242,900 units from 2,144,852 units previously.

Domestic sales fell by 3.8% to 59,494 units last month from 61,837 units a year earlier, despite the recent launch of the new Santa Fe and Kona SUVs, with the company blaming fewer working days in the month compared with last year.

First half sales were 2.8% higher at 354,381 units compared with 344,783 units a year earlier.

Overseas sales increased by 19.4% to 354,728 units in June compared with 297,185 units a year earlier, helped by the global roll out of the Kona SUV.

The automaker also attributed the improved performance to a sharp rebound in demand in China from weak year earlier levels and strong sales in emerging markets such as Brazil and Russia.

In the first half of the year overseas sales were 4.9% higher at 1,888,030 units compared with 1,800,069 units a year earlier. The roll-out of the new Santa Fe in overseas markets is also expected to lift the brand's performance in the second half of the year.

Kia Motors' global sales continued to rebound in June, with volumes rising by 5.9% to 251,216 units from 237,318 units a year earlier on stronger overseas sales. In the first half of the year overall sales were 4.2% higher at 1,384,794 from 1,328,592 units a year earlier.

Domestic sales fell by 2.2% to 46,000 units in June from 47,015 units a year earlier, despite the recent launch of new models such as the K9 luxury flagship, the Stonic compact SUV and the K3 compact sedan. Sales in the first six months of the year were still 4.6% higher at 267,700 units compared with 255,933 units previously.

Overseas sales increased by 7.8% to 205,216 units last month from 190,303 units a year earlier, with sales in China and the US beginning to recover from depressed year earlier levels.

Overseas sales in the first six months of the year were 7.6% higher at 1,114,082 units compared with 1,035,051 units a year earlier. The company expects a 25% sales rebound in China to 450,000 units this year and stronger second half sales in the US. 

GM Korea's global sales rose by 6.5% to 46,546 units in June from 43,693 a year earlier, reflecting a strong rebound in overseas sales from depressed year earlier volumes. Sales in the first six months of the year were 11.7% lower at 246,386 units, however, compared with 278,999 units in the first half of 2017.

Domestic sales fell by almost 17% to 9,529 units in June from 11,455 units a year earlier, despite the launch of the US-made Chevrolet Equinox SUV during the month. The brand has struggled to keep up with the new product programmes of its larger rivals in this market, resulting in first half sales plunging by almost 41% to 42,497 units from 72,708 units in the same period of last year.

GM Korea has pledged to launch 15 new models in its domestic market over the next five years, after its main shareholders injected fresh capital into the company and backed a cost cutting programme involving the closure of the Gunsan assembly plant.

Exports rose by 15% to 37,017 units last month from 32,238 units a year earlier, but where 4.1% lower at 203,889 units in the first six months of the year from 206,291 units previously.

Renault-Samsung's global sales fell by 18.2% to 21,921 units in June from 26,815 units a year earlier, reflecting sharply lower domestic and export sales. Overall sales in the first six months of the year were 7.3% lower at 126,018 units compared with 135,895 units previously.

Domestic sales fell by almost 21% to 7,120 units last month from 9,000 units a year earlier, while cumulative six-month sales were 23% lower at 40,920 units from 52,880 units.

Exports declined by close to 17% to 14,801 units in June from 17,815 units a year earlier on lower demand for the Rogue SUV, but were still 2.5% higher at 85,098 units in the first six months of the year compared with 83,013 units previously.

Ssangyong Motor, majority-owned by India's Mahindra & Mahindra, reported a 0.9% fall in built-up vehicle sales to 12,578 units in June from 12,697 units a year earlier – with strong export growth offset by weaker domestic sales.
 
Global sales in the first six months of the year were 4.8% lower at 66,948 units from 70,345 units previously.

Domestic sales fell by 8.1% to 9,684 units last month from 10,535 units a year earlier and by 3.7% to 51,505 units in the January-June period from 53,469 units previously.

Exports jumped by 34% year-on-year to 2,894 units in June from 2,162 units, but were still down by 7.5% at 15,605 units in the first six months of the year from 16,876 units.

South Korea carmakers, H1 monthly and YTD June 2018 sales

AutomakerDomestic JanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMayJuneOverseas* JanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMayJuneGlobal JanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMayJuneYear to date June 2018
Hyundai5142650200675776378861896594942827912599483294643274093251213547283342173101483970413911973870174142222233842
Kia3910537005485405000447046460001660211589571937341900242001302052162051261956922422742400282471762512161381512
GM Korea (Chevrolet)784458046272537876709529345573092134988331973320937017424013672541260385754087946546246386
Renault-Samsung64025353780069037342712015445106411925916193875914801218471599427059230961610121921126018
Ssangyong7655707092438124970996842530202021262806322928941020590901136910930129381257867110
Totals1124521053421394321341971336631318275013444624875795715696295704486146566137965679197190037038267041117464834055138

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

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