Domestic automakers all report dip in August sales

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Domestic automakers all report dip in August sales

No Korean automaker had better sales in August than last year, primarily due to fewer business days and labor strikes.

According to the August sales report released yesterday, the five domestic automakers combined to sell 638,372 units, down 7.3 percent from 2013.

Both domestic and overseas sales slumped. Sales in Korea shrank 3.9 percent year-on-year to 105,983 units, while exports dropped 8 percent to 532,389 units.

By company, Hyundai Motor said it sold 357,698 vehicles worldwide last month, down 5.9 percent from a year ago.

Hyundai was the only local automaker to report a slight domestic sales increase thanks to sales of large commercial vehicles produced in its Jeonju plant.

Hyundai’s domestic sales increased 1 percent year-on-year to 48,143 units.

However, the nation’s largest automaker saw overseas sales drop 6.9 percent year-on-year to 309,555 units.

The company said the union’s partial strike last month, which was prompted by sluggish negotiations on base pay, affected its overseas sales.

Shipments from Korea fell 25.2 percent year-on-year last month to 64,405 vehicles.

Hyundai’s smaller affiliate Kia Motors sold 216,483 vehicles last month, off 3 percent from a year ago.

Despite releasing the new Carnival minivan, domestic sales slipped 7.7 percent year-on-year due to a partial strike and summer vacation. Overseas sales also slid 2 percent to 181,435 units.

The nation’s second-largest automaker exported 75,005 units, down 10.7 percent from a year ago.

GM Korea was the worst performer in August, as sales plunged 30.4 percent year-on-year to 43,018 units.

The nation’s No. 3 automaker said domestic sales fell 11 percent year-on-year to 11,938 units, while overseas sales plummeted 35.7 percent year-on-year with General Motors’ decision to pull the Chevrolet brand from Europe.

Renault Samsung Motors had the smallest decrease last month, as sales dipped 2.3 percent year-on-year to 10,559 units.

The Korean unit of French automaker Renault also blamed vacation season and a partial strike by its union for a domestic sales drop of 6.9 percent year-on-year to 4,741 units. However, exports increased 1.8 percent year-on-year to 5,818 units.

Ssangyong Motor, which specializes in sport utility vehicles, sold 9,659 units last month, down 15.9 percent from a year ago.

Although domestic sales weren’t changed from last year, exports dropped 30.2 percent to 4,501 units due to a worse business environment in its main market, Russia.

BY JOO KYUNG-DON[kjoo@joongang.co.kr ]




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