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(LEAD) Hyundai Motor's March sales dip 6.3 pct on weak exports

All Headlines 17:19 April 03, 2017

(ATTN: ADDS photo, background in paras 5-8)

SEOUL, March 3 (Yonhap) -- Hyundai Motor Co., the country's top automaker, posted a 6.3 percent on-year decline in March sales due to low demand from emerging markets, the company said Monday.

Hyundai Motor sold a total of 405,929 vehicles in March, down from 433,171 units a year earlier, the country's top carmaker said in a statement.

"As the company expects slowing (sales) growth in advanced markets and is not sure about an (immediate) rebound in sales in emerging markets, it will strengthen its fundamentals and actively cope with the ongoing low-growth era," the statement said without elaborating.

Domestic sales rose 2.6 percent on-year to 63,765 units last month, and overseas sales fell 7.8 percent to 342,164 over the cited period, it said.

As part of efforts to boost its lineup, Hyundai has recently launched the Grandeur Hybrid sedan in the domestic market with a goal to sell more than 10,000 units a year.

Hyundai Motor's Grandeur Hybrid sedan (Yonhap file photo)

Moreover, the carmaker said Monday it will launch an all-new Kona sport-utility vehicle "this summer" to strengthen its presence in the global B-segment SUV market.

Hyundai currently does not have an SUV model in the small car segment, which is defined by the European Commission as being larger than A-segment, or city cars, but smaller than those in the C-segment, which are medium-size vehicles.

Helped by those new models, Hyundai aims to sell a total of 5.08 million units this year, higher than its actual sales of 4.86 million units tallied for the whole of 2016.

In the January-March quarter, overall sales fell 1.6 percent on-year to 1.09 million units, according to sales data released by the company.

Domestic sales for the first three months climbed 0.7 percent on-year to 161,978 from 160,862, while overseas sales declined 2.0 percent to 927,944, the data said.

kyongae.choi@yna.co.kr
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