SEOUL, Oct. 1 (Yonhap) -- GM Korea Co., the South Korean unit of General Motors Co., said Tuesday its sales plunged 39 percent last month from a year earlier as strikes sharply reduced production.
GM Korea sold 21,393 vehicles in September, down from 34,816 units the previous year, affected by walkouts for an increase in wages, the company said in a statement.
Domestic sales fell 30 percent to 5,171 units last month from 7,434 a year ago. Exports declined 41 percent to 16,222 from 27,382 over the cited period, it said.
Under its plan to introduce 15 new vehicles to the local market over the next five years, GM Korea launched the U.S.-made Equinox SUV and the upgraded Chevrolet Spark minicar last year, and the midsize Colorado pickup truck and the Traverse SUV this year.
But new vehicles didn't help buoy sales due to rounds of strikes by GM Korea workers in past months.
The 10,000-member union demanded a 5.7 percent hike in basic monthly salary, 1 1/2 months of wages in performance-based pay and a cash bonus worth 6.5 million won (US$5,400) per worker.
The company rejected the demands, saying it is difficult to accept them due to worsening business environments and the fact that the company is still mired in deficits, among other reasons.
From January to September, sales fell 9.5 percent to 308,933 autos from 341,349 a year earlier, the statement said.
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