Double-digit acceleration for car sales in February

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Double-digit acceleration for car sales in February

On the back of a recovering economy, domestic vehicle sales saw double-digit growth in February for the first time in six months.

According to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy yesterday, more than 121,700 vehicles, including import brands, were sold in the local market last month a 10.6 percent increase compared to last year.

Domestic sales in particular have been struggling since September after turning around from near 30 percent growth in August to an 11 percent decline. Since then, domestic sales remained on a decline before posting 4 percent growth in January.

Exports continued to see an expansion, adding 5.8 percent year-on-year to sell more than 248,700 units.

Thanks to growth in both local and export markets, automobile production has grown 6.3 percent year-on-year to more than 359,100 units.

In addition, two extra working days in February compared to a year earlier also helped both sales and production.

In the local market, demand for large vehicles, including SUVs, has gone up significantly. Sales of big vehicles like Hyundai’s Genesis and Grandeur grew nearly 26 percent year-on-year, while SUVs like the Santa Fe and Korando grew 31 percent.

The ministry expects the domestic market to continue last month’s upward momentum, largely thanks to the release of new vehicles including GM Korea’s Malibu diesel, Renault Samsung’s SM5 diesel, Hyundai Motor’s Sonata LF, and Kia Motors’ Carnival and Sorento.

BY LEE HO-JEONG [ojlee82@joongang.co.kr]


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