South Korea’s auto sales grow

July 2nd, 2012 - 6:49 pm ICT by IANS  

Seoul, July 2 (IANS) South Korea’s automobile sales grew 8.9 percent in the first half of this year from a year earlier as strong overseas sales offset weak domestic demand, industry data showed Monday.

For the first six months of 2012, global auto sales by the nation’s five carmakers Hyundai Motor, Kia Motors, GM Korea, Renault Samsung Motors and Ssangyong Motor reached 4,124,972 vehicles. The figure was up 8.9 percent from the same period of last year, reported Xinhua.

The increase was attributed to robust overseas demand for cars manufactured by domestic automakers. Local sales by the five carmakers contracted 5.9 percent on-year to 691,256 units in the first half, but overseas sales, including cars exported from South Korea and vehicles assembled in overseas plants, expanded 12.5 percent to 3,433,726 units.

Hyundai and Kia saw their auto sales hit the largest in their history, leading the brisk car sales during the first half.

Global car sales by Hyundai reached a new high of 2,180,012 vehicles in the first half, up 11.6 percent from a year before. Domestic sales declined 4.7 percent to 328,113 units, but overseas sales jumped 15.1 percent to 1,851,899 units.

Kia Motors saw their global auto sales reach the fresh record 1,396,143 units for the first six months of this year, up 12.4 percent from the same period of last year. Local sales declined 3. 7 percent to 239,138 units, but overseas sales surged 16.4 percent to 1,396,143 units.

Other carmakers showed underperformance. Global sales by GM Korea, the South Korean unit of General Motors (GM), came in at 409,150 vehicles in the first half, down 1.1 percent from a year earlier. Local sales grew 3.5 to 71,506 units, the largest in nine years, but exports retreated 2.0 percent to 337,644 units.

Global sales by Renault Samsung plunged 32.8 percent on-year to 83,062 units in the first half, with domestic sales and exports tumbling 41.7 percent and 26.1 percent respectively, but global sales by Ssangyong Motor rose 2.5 percent to 56,605 units over the cited period.

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