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S. Korea's global auto sales shrink 1.3 pct in 2016

All News 16:54 January 02, 2017

SEOUL, Jan. 2 (Yonhap) -- Global sales of cars produced by five South Korea-based automakers shrank slightly from a year earlier in 2016 due to a decline in overseas sales that more than offset an increase in sales here, data released by the carmakers showed Monday.

The combined global sales of the five automakers came to 8,890,530 cars last year, down 1.3 percent from the previous year.

Led by Hyundai Motor Co., the five carmakers sold a combined total of 1,588,572 cars in the domestic market, up 0.6 percent from 1,579,705 units sold the previous year.

S. Korea's global auto sales shrink 1.3 pct in 2016 - 1

However, their overseas sales retreated 1.7 percent on-year to 7,301,958.

The five carmakers include Kia Motors Corp., the country's No. 2 automaker and an affiliate of Hyundai Motor. The rest are GM Korea Co., the South Korean unit of U.S. automaker General Motors Co., Ssangyong Motor Co., the South Korean unit of Indian carmaker Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., and Renault Samsung Motors Co., the local unit of French automaker Renault S.A.

In 2016, local industry leader Hyundai Motor saw its domestic sales plunge 7.8 percent, becoming the only carmaker here to post negative growth in the local market.

Its overseas sales also slipped 1.2 percent on-year to some 4.2 million cars.

Such a drop in both domestic and overseas sales was partly attributed to a series of labor strikes that caused a serious cut in output here.

"Last year, Hyundai Motor struggled due to the largest-ever missed production in its history and an economic slump in newly emerging markets amid a low growth trend in the global economy," it said in a press release.

Kia Motors said its overall sales slipped 1 percent on-year to some 3.02 million cars in 2016, due largely to a massive missed production caused by a series of walkouts staged by its own unionized workers.

S. Korea's global auto sales shrink 1.3 pct in 2016 - 2

Its domestic sales gained 1.4 percent on-year to 535,000 cars, but overseas sales slipped 1.5 percent to 2,485,217 vehicles.

Ssangyong Motor, on the other hand, saw its annual sales reach a 14-year high with both domestic and overseas sales expanding from a year earlier.

In 2016, the smallest carmaker here by sales, sold 155,754 cars globally, up 7.8 percent from a year earlier, the company said in a press release.

Domestic sales gained 3.9 percent to 103,554, breaching the 100,000-mark for the first time since 2003, while its exports spiked 16.3 percent to 52,200 cars.

GM Korea's overall sales dropped 4 percent on-year to 597,165 cars in 2016, due to a 10 percent drop in its exports.

However, its domestic sales spiked 13.8 percent to a record high of 180,275 units.

Renault Samsung said its annual global sales jumped 12 percent on-year to 257,345, the second highest in its history.

Such an increase was attributed to a 38.8-percent surge in domestic sales that helped more than offset a 2 percent drop in exports.

For December alone, the combined global sales of the five carmakers dwindled 1.2 percent on-year to 915,448 cars.

Their combined domestic sales dropped 5.9 percent on-year to 164,852, while their overseas sales remained nearly unchanged from a year earlier at 750,596 units.


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