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Domestic sales by S. Korean carmakers top 40 tln won in 2016

All News 11:39 April 16, 2017

SEOUL, April 16 (Yonhap) -- South Korean carmakers domestic sales exceeded the 40 trillion-won (US$35 billion) mark for the first time last year as they benefited from troubles that affected Germany's Volkswagen Group, the companies said Sunday.

The country's five carmakers -- Hyundai Motor Co., Kia Motors Corp., GM Korea Co., Renault Samsung Motors Corp. and SsangYong Motor Co. -- posted a combined 41.107 trillion won in sales last year, up 7.7 percent from 38.183 trillion won tallied a year earlier, according to data offered by the companies.

In July last year, Volkswagen Group voluntarily stopped selling its vehicles in South Korea as the Seoul government announced it will ban the sale of all Audi and Volkswagen cars while imposing heavy fines on the German carmaker as it admitted last year of having falsified U.S. emissions tests in some of its diesel-powered cars.

Instead of Volkswagen cars, some customers opted to buy new models, such as GM Korea's Malibu midsize sedan, and Renault Samsung's SM6 midsize sedan and QM6 SUV. Others purchased German vehicles made by Mercedes-Benz and BMW, industry people said.

This photo taken on July 24, 2016, shows a Volkswagen vehicle parked before the German carmaker's dealership in Gangnam, southern Seoul. (Yonhap)

Hyundai Motor and its sister company Kia Motors posted 19.35 trillion won and 12.58 trillion won in domestic sales last year, respectively, up from 19.34 trillion won and 11.64 trillion won tallied a year earlier, their sales data showed.

Three other players also fared well in the domestic markets. Renault Samsung's local sales jumped 48 percent year-over-year to 3.18 trillion won last year, with GM Korea's climbing 35 percent to 3.44 trillion won during the same period. SsangYong's rose 2.1 percent to 2.55 trillion won, the data said.

Meanwhile, total domestic sales by foreign carmakers fell 6.1 percent to 9.35 trillion won last year from 9.96 trillion won a year earlier affected by a 51 percent on-year drop in Volkswagen sales, import car data showed.

The share of imported vehicles in the domestic passenger car market also fell to 15.4 percent in March from 16.25 percent a year earlier.

Still, BMW and Mercedes-Benz apparently absorbed customers who were planning to buy vehicles made by the troubled Volkswagen Group in South Korea.

BMW reported 3.79 trillion won in South Korean sales last year, up 21 percent from a year earlier. Mercedes-Benz's sales climbed 7.7 percent on-year to 3.09 trillion won during the citied period, the data showed.

kyongae.choi@yna.co.kr
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