Automakers’ sales beat 8 million for first timeKorean auto manufacturers sold more than 8 million vehicles last year for the first time as steady overseas sales offset sluggish domestic demand amid a slowdown in the global economy, industry data showed yesterday.
Combined sales of five car manufacturers led by Hyundai Motor reached 8.2 million vehicles, up 5.6 percent from 7.76 million units sold in 2011.
Domestic sales dropped 4.2 percent from a year earlier to 1.4 million vehicles due to low local demand, while overseas sales climbed 8 percent to 6.79 million units.
Hyundai posted a total of 4.4 million units in sales, up 8.6 percent on-year, despite a 2.3 percent drop in domestic sales.
The carmaker’s overseas sales jumped 10.9 percent to 3.73 million units, boosting total sales, with Hyundai cars manufactured at overseas plants reaching 2.5 million units compared to 1.23 million units made in Korea and sold abroad.
However, its domestic sales dropped 2.3 percent by volume to 667,777 units.
Its smaller affiliate Kia was also on a roll at home and abroad last year, posting a 7.1 percent sales growth with 2.72 million units sold.
Kia’s overseas sales jumped 9.4 percent on-year to 2.23 million units, with cars produced at its overseas lines topping 1 million units for the first time.
GM Korea sold 145,702 units in the domestic market, up 3.6 percent on-year, marking the highest-ever sales record since the U.S. carmaker entered the Korean market in 2002. Its overseas shipments slipped 1.9 percent on-year to 809,639 units.
Renault Samsung remained in a slump throughout 2012, with sales plunging 37.5 percent on-year to 154,309 units.
Ssangyong Motor, the local unit of Indian SUV maker Mahindra & Mahindra, posted upbeat sales of 120,717 vehicles, up 6.8 percent from 2011, due to popular new models.
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