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(LEAD) Kia March sales plunge 11 pct on weak demand

All News 17:24 April 03, 2017

(ATTN: ADDS photo, background in last para)

SEOUL, April 3 (Yonhap) -- Kia Motors Corp. posted a 11 percent on-year drop in sales last month due to sluggish demand from domestic and overseas markets, the company said Monday.

The country's second-biggest carmaker by sales sold a total of 238,222 vehicles in March down from 268,306 units a year earlier, the company said in a statement.

"In particular, weak overseas demand for (Kia) vehicles weighed on the monthly figures," a company spokesman said.

Domestic sales fell 5.7 percent to 47,621 units last month from 50,510 a year ago. Overseas sales also declined 13 percent to 190,601 from 217,796 during the same period, showed sales data offered by the company.

Kia Motors' Stinger sports sedan to be launched locally in the first half (Yonhap file photo)

Kia Motors, which is 36 percent owned by Hyundai Motor Co., performed poorly for the first quarter ending on March 31. Hyundai and Kia together form the world's fifth-largest carmaker by sales.

Domestic sales declined 4.9 percent to 121,791 units in the first three months from 128,125 in the previous year's period. Exports were down 6.8 percent to 537,545 from 577,034, the data said.

To boost sales, Kia plans to launch the Stinger sports car and several upgraded models in the first half. The models will be the Niro compact SUV, the Mohave large-size SUV and the Carnival van, the company said.

Driven by new models, Kia aims to sell a total of 3.17 million units this year, higher than its actual sales of 3.02 million units tallied for the whole of 2016.


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