The five Korean automakers -- Hyundai Motor, Kia Motors, GM Korea, SsangYong Motor and Renault Samsung Motors – suffered a setback in overseas sales in September. Industry experts attribute the drop to shrinking demand in emerging markets, a lack of new models, and labor-management conflicts.
Auto sales at home and abroad stood at 662,949 units in September, down 2.2 percent from the same month last year. Domestic sales grew 2.1 percent to 112,407 unit, but overseas sales slid 3.0 percent to 550,542 units.
Hyundai Motor’s sales went down 1.3 percent to 382,375 units, while Kia’s sales increased 1.3 percent to 233,648 units. GM Korea sold 21,933 units, a drop of 38.6 percent from a year earlier. GM Korea’s labor union has been on partial and full strikes for over a month. Renault Samsung’s sales grew 4.3 percent to 15,208 units, while those of SsangYong declined 1.8 percent to 10,325 units.
In the Korean market, Hyundai Motor’s sales sank 4.5 percent to 50,139 units but those of Kia Motors jumped 17.3 percent to 42,005 units. GM Korea posted 5,171 units, a drop of 30.4 percent, finishing last among the five carmakers. Renault Samsung boosted sales 16.4 percent to 7,817 units as QM6 sales jumped 60.3 percent to 4,048 units thanks to the popularity of LPG-fueled cars. SsangYong Motor’s sales decreased 5.4 percent to 7,275 units.
In overseas sales, Hyundai Motor posted a 0.8 percent drop and Kia a 1.6 percent drop. GM Korea suffered a plunge of 40.8 percent. Renault Samsung’s sales also fell 6.1 percent as Nissan Rogue exports to North America fell 14.6 percent. SsangYong Motor enjoyed an increase of 8.1 percent, which was led by the Korando. The SUV was launched in the European market.
The five automakers’ cumulative overseas sales from January to September this year reached 581,623 units, down 4.0 percent from the same period of last year. All of them suffered a drop on year -- Hyundai Motor 3.9 percent, Kia Motors 1.5 percent, GM Korea 9.5 percent, Renault Samsung 24.4 percent and SsangYong Motor 2.4 percent.