Slumping demand at home weighs on Korean automakers

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Slumping demand at home weighs on Korean automakers

Korea’s five automakers yesterday reported a 1.7 percent drop in January sales due to a slump in domestic demand.

The combined sales of the carmakers came to 617,506 vehicles in January, compared with 626,806 units sold a year earlier, according to data released by the companies.

Their domestic shipments reached a combined 96,448 units last month, down 20 percent from 120,557 a year earlier. Overseas sales, however, including cars exported from Korea and vehicles assembled at foreign plants, inched up 2.9 percent on-year to 521,058 from 506,229.

Hyundai Motor sold 45,186 vehicles last month, down 18.6 percent from a year earlier.

“Our sales for the first month of this year fell as January had fewer business days due to the Lunar New Year holiday,” said Hyundai Motor in a statement. Kia Motors also suffered a sharp decrease in domestic sales in January, falling to a nearly two-year low of 34,210 vehicles.

GM Korea said its domestic sales tumbled 19.6 percent on-year to 8,041 vehicles last month. Renault Samsung was the biggest loser last month, with its domestic sales nosediving 39.4 percent on-year to 14,440 cars.

Ssangyong Motor also reported a 1.8 percent drop in the domestic market last month, with 2,804 vehicles sold. Yonhap

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