Domestic sales by South Korea’s five main automakers combined fell by almost 12% to 119,628 units in April 2022 from 135,581 units a year earlier, according to preliminary wholesale data released individually by the companies.

The data did not include sales by low volume commercial vehicle manufacturers such as Tata-Daewoo and Edison Motors, as well as sales of imported vehicles which will be covered in a separate report later in the month.

Vehicle manufacturers all reported declines in April which they blamed mainly on continued shortages of semiconductors and the recent resurgence of the covid pandemic in the country.

Hyundai local deliveries dropped by 15% to 59,415 units while Kia sales were down by 2% at 50,095; GM Korea sold 2,951 (-46%); and Renault Korea 2,328 (-57%).

Ssangyong was the only brand to report higher domestic sales, which surged by 46% to 4,839, as more bidders emerged for the bankrupt automaker.

Domestic sales in the first four months of 2022 were down by over 16% at 427,926 units from 494,288 in the same period of last year.

Global sales by the big five automakers, including vehicles produced overseas by Hyundai and Kia, fell by 6.6% to 595,569 units in April from 637,621 units a year earlier, due to weaker domestic and overseas sales, while cumulative four month volume was down 6.3% at 2,303,260 from 2,458,090.

Overseas sales fell 5% to 475,941 units last month from 502,040 a year earlier and by 4.5% to 1,875,334 year to date from 1,963,802, reflecting also tight supplies of semiconductors.

Hyundai Motor global sales fell by almost 12% to 308,788 units in April from 349,184 a year earlier, with domestic and overseas sales both sharply lower which the automaker blamed on continued shortages of components, rising raw material costs and the resurgence of the Covid pandemic. Its global sales in the first four months of the year were more than 10% lower at 1,211,733 from 1,349,012 units.

Domestic sales dropped by more than 15% to 59,415 units last month from 70,219 a year earlier and by over 17% year-to-date to 211,513 from 255,632. Overseas sales fell by almost 11% to 249,373 in April from 278,965, with sales impacted by the Russian invasion of the Ukraine, while cumulative sales were down 8.5% at 1,000,220 from 1,093,380 units.

Earlier this year Hyundai said it expected its global sales to rise by over 11% to 4,323,000 vehicles in 2022, driven by a 13.5% rise in overseas sales to 3,591,000 units and a slight rise in domestic sales. The automaker reiterated that it would “endeavour to alleviate the business uncertainties by optimising production and inventories and by tailoring its business strategy to each region”.

Kia global sales fell 6% to 238,538 vehicles in April from 253,287 a year earlier, reflecting a slowdown in both domestic and overseas sales. In the first four months of the year, the automaker’s total sales were down by 2% at 924,277 units from 943,278 a year earlier, with deliveries affected by tight semiconductor supplies and also by the spread of the Covid Omicron variant.

Domestic sales fell by 2% to 50,095 units last month from 51,128 a year earlier and were down by over 6% at 171,759 units year to date from 181,203. Overseas sales fell by almost 7% to 188,443 units in April from 202,159 while cumulative sales were just over 1% lower at 752,137 units compared with 762,074.

In January Kia said it expected its global sales to grow by 14% to 3.15 million units in 2022, including 562,000 domestic sales and 2.59 million overseas, helped by new models such as the EV6 GT and the redesigned Niro.

Renault Korea saw its global sales more than double to 20,318 vehicles in April from weak year earlier sales of 9,344, reflecting the continued strong rebound in exports. Overall sales in the first four month of the year were up by almost 77% at 55,554 from 31,412 previously.

Local sales fell 57% to 2,328 units last month from 5,466 a year earlier and 20% to 14,987 year to date from 18,685. Exports quadrupled to 17,990 units in April from 3,878, while cumulative volume tripled to 40,567 from 12,817 as the company continued to step up shipments of the XM3 and QM6 SUVs to Europe.

GM Korea global sales fell 8% to 19,785 vehicles in April from 21,455 a year earlier, reflecting weaker domestic and overseas sales as the automaker continued to struggle with the global semiconductor shortage. Cumulative four month sales were down 28% at 80,368 units from 111,479 units previously.

Domestic sales dropped 46% to 2,951 units in April from 5,470 units a year earlier and by 55% to 10,350 year to date from 22,823 units. Exports rose 5% to 16,834 units last month from 15,985 while cumulative volume was down 12% at 81,585 from 92,637.

Bankrupt SsangYong Motor global sales jumped by 87% to 8,140 vehicles in April from a weak 4,351 units a year earlier, reflecting strong rebounds in domestic and overseas sales.

Cumulative four month sales were up 37% at 31,328 units from 22,910.

Domestic sales increased 46% to 4,839 units last month from 3,318 a year earlier while year to date sales were up 21% to 19,317 from 15,945.

Exports tripled to 3,301 units in April from 1,063 units a year earlier and cumulative volume was up 72% at 12,101 from 7,025.

The company launched its first battery powered SUV in March, the Korando e-Motion, to help strengthen its domestic sales.

In the last month three local consortiums have emerged to acquire the bankrupt automaker, following the collapse of the Edison Motor deal at the end of March, after the Seoul Bankruptcy Court extended the deadline to complete a deal to mid October.

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Sources: from industry sources.