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Carmakers' sales in Oct. fall 22 pct amid chip shortages

All News 17:48 November 01, 2021

SEOUL, Nov. 1 (Yonhap) -- South Korean carmakers' sales fell 22 percent last month from a year earlier as an extended global chip shortage and the COVID-19 pandemic continued to weigh on vehicle production and sales, industry data showed Monday.

The country's five carmakers -- Hyundai Motor Co., Kia Corp., GM Korea Co., Renault Samsung Motors Corp. and SsangYong Motor Co. -- sold a combined 548,192 vehicles in October, down from 705,047 units a year ago, according to data from the companies.

Their domestic sales declined 21 percent to 106,424 units from 135,495, while overseas sales dropped 22 percent to 441,768 from 569,552 during the same period, the data said.

This composite photo shows the logos of five carmakers in South Korea. (Yonhap)

Hyundai Motor's sales fell 21 percent to 307,039 units from 387,197 a year ago. Sales of its affiliate Kia's declined 19 percent to 217,872 from 268,729 during the same period.

Disrupted vehicle production amid the extended chip shortages drove down their monthly sales.

Hyundai suspended the Asan plant several times since July due to the parts problems, which affected the production of the Santa Fe sport utility vehicle and the Sonata sedan.

To ride out the pandemic, Hyundai and Kia said they will focus on promoting their new models, including Hyundai's all-electric IONIQ 5 crossover utility vehicle and Kia's K8 sedan and all-electric EV6 model, for the rest of the year.

To reflect the supply-side issues, Hyundai revised down its sales target to 4 million vehicles for the year from 4.16 million units announced early this year. Last year, it sold 3.74 million autos.

Kia expected it won't achieve this year's sales target of 2.92 million units due to the same parts problems.

Three other carmakers also came up with poor sales results last month due to parts shortages and lack of new models.

Increased exports at Renault Samsung did not help drive up its overall results last month. GM Korea was the worst performer in domestic sales and exports.

Renault Samsung's exports soared to 6,625 last month from 392 a year ago on increased shipments of the XM3 SUV but its local sales declined 30 percent to 5,002 from 7,141.

GM Korea's local sales plunged 65 percent to 2,493 from 7,064, and exports nosedived 82 percent to 4,382 from 24,327.

SsangYong's domestic sales fell 57 percent on-year to 3,279 autos last month from 7,612 and exports declined 42 percent to 1,500 from 2,585 during the cited period.

From January to October, the five automakers' combined sales rose 6.3 percent to 5.96 million units from 5.61 million in the year-ago period.

Their domestic sales fell 11 percent to 1.18 million autos in the 10-month period from 1.33 million units a year earlier, while overseas sales were up 11 percent to 4.78 million from 4.28 million.

kyongae.choi@yna.co.kr
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