The Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association announced on April 7 that the combined domestic sales of GM Korea, Ssangyong Motors, and Renault Samsung Motors increased 9.5 percent to 72,289 cars for the first quarter of this year from a year earlier. GM Korea recorded a decline of 0.3 percent, but Ssangyong Motors and Renault Samsung Motors increased their sales volumes by 25.7 percent and 13.7 percent, respectively.
Last year, GM Korea took up 10.6 percent of the domestic market, followed by Renault Samsung Motor (5.5 percent) and Ssangyong Motors (4.7 percent). However, in the first quarter of this year, the percentages changed to 8.5 percent for GM Korea, 5.3 percent for Ssangyong Motors, and 4.2 percent for Renault Samsung Motors.
GM Korea’s relatively poor performance can be attributed to the sluggish sales of its staple products. The sales volume of the Spark, which accounts for 40 percent of its domestic sales, declined 10.7 percent year-on-year. In contrast, Ssangyong and Renault Samsung are expanding their sales with the Tivoli and QM3 compact SUVs. The former is focusing on the domestic market in order to deal with the recent depreciation of the ruble and the subsequent deterioration in export conditions, and the latter is planning to increase its share in the taxi market by concentrating on its LPG vehicles released this year.