Sales of Korean produced Chevrolets continued to fall in April

Sales of Korean produced Chevrolets continued to fall in April

Domestic sales by South Korea's five largest automakers combined increased by 1.2% to 134,197 units in April from 132,675 units in the same month of last year, according to preliminary data released individually by the vehicle manufacturers. 

The 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 in the data was 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 in the month.

GM Korea continued to weigh heavily on the domestic market last month with confidence in the brand plunging to new lows as the struggle to save the company from bankruptcy intensified. Its domestic sales fell by close to 54% to 5,378 units similar to the declines in previous months.

Renault Samsung also reported a sharp drop in domestic sales in April, of 21% to 6,903 units, while Ssangyong's sales were 2.7% lower at 8,124 units as competition from the two leading domestic brands continued to intensify. 

Market leader Hyundai reported a 5.7% rise in domestic sales to 63,788 units last month while Kia's sales increased by almost 15% to 50,004 units. 

Overall domestic sales in the first four months of 2018 declined by 2.6% to 409,513 units compared with 504,400 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 7.5% to 703,826 units in April from 654,477 units a year earlier – reflecting stronger domestic and overseas sales. Sales in the first four months of the year were down by just 0.6% at 2,604,544 units from 2,619,277 units previously. 

Overseas sales, including vehicles produced overseas by Hyundai and Kia, increased by 9.2% to 569,629 units from 521,802 units in same month last year as sales in China began to recover from depressed year earlier levels, while sales in the US continued to weaken.

Overseas sales in the first four months of the year were 2.4% higher at 2,113,031 units compared with 2,108,074 units a year earlier.

Hyundai Motor's global sales rose by over 11% to 391,197 units in April from 352,219 units a year earlier, reflecting both higher domestic and overseas sales. Deliveries in the first four months of the year were almost 1% higher at 1,432,603 units from 1,419,314 units last time.

Domestic sales continued to rebound in April, by 5.7% to 63,788 units from 60,361 units a year earlier, helped by strong demand for the new Santa Fe midsize SUV and the recently launched Kona compact SUV. Sales in the first four months of the year were 4.8% higher at 232,991 units from 222,339 units a year earlier.

Overseas sales increased by 7.7% to 327,409 units in April from 303,864 units a year earlier with signs demand in China is beginning to recover from depressed year earlier volumes while sales in the US continued to decline.

Overseas sales in the first four months of the year were just 0.6% lower at 1,199,986 units from 1,206,981 units a year earlier.

Hyundai is targeting sales in China to rebound by close to 15% to around 900,000 units this year, while it hopes the launch of the new Santa Fe in the summer will also help its sales recover in the USA.

Kia Motors' global sales continued to rebound in April with volumes rising by 9.3% 240,028 units from 219,580 units a year earlier on stronger domestic and overseas sales. Volumes in the first four months of the year were 2.5% higher at 886,402 units from 864,448 units previously.

Domestic sales increased by almost 15% to 50,004 units in April from 43,515 units a year earlier, helped by new models such as the recently launched Stonic compact SUV and the new K3 compact sedan. Sales in the first four months of the year were 5.6% higher at 174,654 units compared with 165,396 units.

Overseas sales increased by 7.9% to 190,024 units last month from 176,065 units a year earlier, with sales in China beginning to recover from depressed year earlier levels while sales in the USA were still negative.

Sales in the first four months of the year were 1.4% higher at 708,736 units compared with 699,142 units a year earlier. The company expects a 25% sales rebound in China to 450,000 units this year, which will help drive total overseas sales higher.

GM Korea's global sales fell by almost 22% to 38,575 units in April from 49,163 units a year earlier, reflecting sharply lower domestic and export sales which the company blamed on a lack of new models. Global sales in the first four months of the year were 17.3% lower at 158,961 units compared with 192,221 units in the same period of 2017.

Domestic sales continued to plunge in April, with deliveries to dealers falling by over 54% to 5,378 units from 11,751 units a year earlier. The decline was led by particularly weak demand for models such as the Cruze and Malibu as they came up against rising competition from Hyundai and Kia.

Uncertainty regarding the company's future and the imminent closure of the Gunsan plant also weighed heavily on brand sentiment. Sales in the first four months of the year sales were down by almost 49% at 25,298 units compared with 49,399 units a year earlier.

Exports fell by 11% to 33,197 units in April from 37,412 units a year earlier and by 6.4% to 133,663 units in the first four months of the year from 142,822 units, as the company continued to reduce Chevrolet's presence in global markets.

Renault Samsung's global sales rose by 2.9% to 23,096 units in April from 22,444 units a year earlier, with a sharp fall in domestic sales more than offset by strong export growth. Global sales in the first four months of the year were just 0.6% lower at 87,996 units compared with 88,563 units previously.

Domestic sales fell by 21% to 6,903 units last month from 8,702 units a year earlier, while cumulative four month sales were almost 24% lower at 26,458 units from 34,658 units.

Exports continued to grow strongly in April, by 18% to 16,193 units from 13,742 units a year earlier, lifting cumulative four month sales by 14.2% to 61,538 from 53,903 units.

Ssangyong Motor, majority owned by India's Mahindra & Mahindra, reported a 1.3% drop in built up vehicle sales to 10,930 units in April from 11,071 units a year earlier on lower domestic sales. Global sales in the first four months of the year were 8.2% lower at 41,594 units from 45,299 units previously.

Domestic sales fell by 2.7% to 8,124 units last month from 8,346 a year earlier and by 1.8% to 32,112 units in the first four months of the year from 32,696 units last time.

Exports bounced by 3.0% year on year to 2,806 units last month from 2,725 units, but were still down by almost 25% at 9,482 units in the latest four month period from 12,603 units previously.

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

Auto market intelligence
from just-auto

• Auto component fitment forecasts
• OEM & tier 1 profiles & factory finder
• Analysis of 30+ auto technologies & more