The global sales of South Korean carmakers grew from a year earlier last month with sales growing both at home and abroad. Notably, Hyundai Motor’s new Grandeur sedan and Renault Samsung’s SM6 sedan, which are popular models, boosted the total sales in the domestic market.
According to auto industry sources on March 2, combined global sales of the five domestic automakers – Hyundai Motor, Kia Motors, GM Korea, Renault Samsung Motors and Ssangyong Motor – came to 645,923 cars last month, up 2.5 percent from a year earlier. They sold 119,612 units in the domestic market, showing an 8.1 percent increase.
In particular, domestic sales of Renault Samsung grew by a whopping 87.8 percent to 8,008 compared to the same period a year ago. The SM6, which was released last year, accounted for about 50 percent, or 3,900 units, of the total sales.
Hyundai Motor saw its domestic sales jump 8.7 percent on-year to 53,113 cars in February thanks to the new Grandeur. The new Grandeur sold 10,913 units in total last month, surpassing the 10,000-unit mark for three months in a row since its launch in December last year.
Kia Motors said its domestic sales gained 0.1 percent to 39,158 cars in February, propelled by sales of the recently launched Morning and its recreational vehicle (RV) models such as the Niro, Mohave and Carnival.
Ssangyong Motor saw its domestic sales jump 16.1 percent to 8,106 cars from a year earlier last month with popularity of the Tivoli sport utility vehicle (SUV). “As sales of the Tivoli brands, including the Tivoli and Tivoli Air, grew 42.3 percent on-year, we recorded the largest February sales in 13 years in the domestic market,” said the company.
Meanwhile, GM Korea was the only carmaker here to see its domestic sales shrink last month. Although the company saw its sales of the Chevrolet Malibu increase as much as 434 percent, its total sales slipped 1.7 percent on-year to 11,227 cars.
In February, combined sales of the five automakers grew 1.4 percent on-year to 526,320 units in the overseas market. They, except for Ssangyong Motor, all showed an increase in sales. Hyundai Motor sold 288,232 cars last month, up 0.3 percent from a year ago, while Kia Motors’ sales expanded 2.5 percent on-year to 188,665 units. An official from Kia Motors said, “As exports to emerging markets, which struggled due to the global economic downturn last year, showed a somewhat recovery, our exports increased compared to the same period of the previous year.”
GM Korea also saw its global sales rise 2.8 percent on-year to 34,139 units as its exports of subcompact models and RV models increased.
Renault Samsung said its outbound shipments also surged 13.7 percent on-year to 12,574 cars in February. Its total sales in the global market grew as its exports of the SM6 and QM6 as well as the Nissan Rogue showed a rise. The company said, “The QM6 is expanding its export outlets starting with some global markets, such as Australia, Turkey, Middle East and Latin America. It will also begin its outbound shipments this month before its launch in Europe in June. With the Nissan Rogue and QM6, we are planning to strengthen our SUV main export system once again.”
Ssangyong Motor's overseas sales stood at 2,710 cars last month, down 24.6 percent from a year ago. An official from the company said, “This is largely due to the downturn in the overall global markets including emerging markets. We will launch the new Korando C, which has gone on sale in the domestic market from early this year, in the European market in earnest, stepping up marketing campaigns. In addition, our exports will gradually grow as we are seeking to push into new markets.”