SEOUL, April 29 (Yonhap) -- South Korean carmakers enjoyed an increased market share in global markets in the first quarter as they preemptively responded to the coronavirus outbreak, a local car industry association said Wednesday.
Korean automakers' global market share rose to 8.4 percent in the January-March quarter, up from 7.3 percent in the year-ago period, the Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association (KAMA) said in a statement.
"Korean carmakers were quick to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak and maintained a relatively high plant utilization rate in the first quarter compared to their global peers. They reported solid sales of their competitive sport utility vehicle models in the United States, Europe and India," a KAMA official said.
U.S. and Japanese carmakers also reported increased global market shares in the first quarter. U.S. brands' market share increased to 19.9 percent from 18.1 percent, and Japanese brands climbed to 26.3 percent from 25.5 percent over the cited period, the statement said.
In contrast, European and Chinese brands suffered a fall in their market shares. European brands' share fell to 31.5 percent from 31.8 percent, and Chinese automakers declined to 11.4 percent from 14.9 percent, it said.
As for sales, overall vehicles sales in seven major markets -- the U.S., Europe, China, India, Mexico, Brazil and Russia -- plunged 27.5 percent to 11.2 million units in the first quarter from 15.5 million a year earlier.
Korean carmakers represented by Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp. sold a total of 944,000 vehicles in the seven markets for the first three months, down 16 percent from 1.12 million units a year ago.
Advertising controversy grips S. Korean mukbang YouTubers
Seoul's last-ditch home supply plan still in doubt over its viability
Korean foodmakers ramp up overseas push amid COVID-19 pandemic
Bumpy road lies ahead for Samsung, even after heir avoids detention
One month into eased social distancing, S. Korea wrestles with cluster infections, cases with unknown routes