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S. Korea's auto sales fall 4 pct in October amid slowdown

All News 17:21 November 01, 2019

SEOUL, Nov. 1 (Yonhap) -- South Korean vehicle sales fell 3.9 percent last month from a year earlier amid a global economic slowdown, industry data showed Friday.

The country's five carmakers -- Hyundai Motor Co., Kia Motors Corp., GM Korea Co., Renault Samsung Motors Corp. and SsangYong Motor Co. -- sold a combined 703,837 vehicles in October, compared with 733,536 units sold a year earlier, according to the companies' monthly sales data.

The lackluster sales were mainly due to lower demand in China and emerging markets and uncertainties surrounding a yearlong trade battle between the United States and China -- the world's two biggest automobile markets.

S. Korea's auto sales fall 4 pct in October amid slowdown - 1

Domestic sales declined 3.3 percent to 134,895 units last month from 139,557 a year ago, and overseas sales decreased 4.2 percent to 568,942 units from 593,979 over the cited period.

Hyundai and Kia, the country's two biggest carmakers reported no significant rebound in sales last month.

Looking ahead, they said a slowing global economy and a yearlong trade war between the United States and China will further add uncertainties to their businesses during the remainder of the year.

Hyundai's sales fell 2.5 percent to 399,906 units last month from 410,325 a year earlier. Sales at its affiliate, Kia, were down 0.8 percent to 248,752 from 250,680 during the same period.

Hyundai, the maker of the Sonata sedan and the Santa Fe sport-utility vehicle, expects its Palisade SUV, which has been available in U.S. dealerships since this summer, to boost sales in the second half.

Kia expects the Telluride SUV will boost its annual sales. The Telluride is manufactured in Kia's U.S. plant and sold in North American markets only.

The two, which aim to achieve their sales target of 7.55 million vehicles for this year, sold a combined 5.92 million units from January to October, down 2.9 percent from 6.09 million units in the year-ago period, the data showed.

Hyundai and Kia said they will continue to launch more localized models in China, though demand in the world's largest automobile market is expected to remain weak for the rest of the year.

The three other carmakers posted on-year declines in October sales.

GM Korea's sales plunged 26 percent to 30,158 units in October from 40,477. SsangYong Motor's declined 24 percent to 10,135 from 13,352 during the same period.

GM Korea's sales were affected by several rounds of strikes this year, resulting in output losses of over 10,000 vehicles. The company and its union have yet to sign a wage deal for this year.

Renault Samsung's sales fell 20 percent to 14,826 units in October from 18,630 a year ago. SsangYong Motor's were down 24 percent to 10,135 from 13,352.

From January to October, the five firms' overall sales were down 3.9 percent to 5.81 million from 6.05 million in the same period of last year, the data showed.


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