Korean automakers’ domestic sales increased in October, brightening their prospect of attaining annual sales goals.
The aggregate domestic sales of the five Korean automakers, including Hyundai Motor, Kia Motors, GM Korea, Ssangyong and Renault Samsung, totaled 139,957 units in October, up 23.60% from a year earlier. The increase was led by their main models.
Hyundai Motor sold 66,288 units in the domestic market in October, up 25% from a year earlier. Sales of sport utility vehicles (SUVs) increased 74 percent from a year ago, boosting its overall sales. The Santa Fe sold 9,781 units, becoming the best selling model in Korea for eight consecutive months.
Kia's domestic sales rose 22.9% to 46,600 units last month. In particular, sales of the K series, including the K9, added up to 13,368 units, up 55.1% from a year before.
In October, Ssangyong sold 10,282 units, up 36% from the same month of last year. The Rexton brands set record monthly sales in October, with the Rexton Sports selling 4,099 units, a 139.1% jump from last year. Cumulative domestic sales also turned to growth (1.0%) for the first time this year. The company says its domestic sales are likely to grow for the ninth consecutive year.
Renault Samsung Motors sold 8,814 units last month, up 24 percent from the same month of last year. The QM6 sold 3,455 units in the domestic market alone, up 51.6 percent from a year before. For the first time this year, the QM6 sold more than 3,000 units a month.
GM Korea posted 8,273 units in domestic sales last month, showing a 7.8% year-on-year increase. The Trax sold 1,558 units, up 62.5% from last year, recording the highest monthly sales of this year.
"As sales of new and major models grew and the number of working days increased compared to the same month of the previous year, automakers’ domestic sales swelled altogether," said an industry analyst.
Last month, the five automakers exported a total of 591,428 units, falling short of the sales a year ago, but their total sales jumped 3% to 730,913 units due to strong domestic sales.
Hyundai Motor exported 341,872 units last month, down 2.7% from the previous year, but total sales increased 5.3 percent to 408,160 units. Its cumulative sales volume from January to October was 3,770,916, which was 80% of its annual target (4,675,000 units) announced at the beginning of this year. Kia Motors exported 204,194 units, an increase of 0.8% from a year ago, posting 250,294 units in total sales. Its cumulative sales in the January-October period reached 2,323,772 units, or 81% of its annual target.
SsangYong Motor, which exported 2,342 units in October, posted 13,424 units in total sales, up 24.9% from a year earlier, setting new monthly sales records both in domestic sales and exports. SsangYong Motor, which recorded 114,788 units in total sales by October this year, plans to carry out aggressive marketing activities in November and December to attain its annual target of 150,000 units.
However, GM Korea's cumulative sales during the first 10 months of this year slid 12.5% to 381,826 units while the automaker was rumored to withdraw from the Korean market.
Renault Samsung, which has been suffering from a labor dispute this year, recorded cumulative sales of 19,525 units by October of this year, down 15.1% from a year earlier.