Top automakers’ sales improve in NovemberNovember was a decent month for the nation’s two leading automakers, Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors.
No. 2 automaker Kia Motors’ sales increased by 20.3 percent over October, mainly due to stable production following a settlement between the company and its labor union over a wage issue, which took five months to resolve.
Kia said it sold a total of 267,734 cars - 44,500 domestically and 223,234 outside the country - an increase of 4.1 percent from November 2013. The 44,500 units sold in the country was the company’s best monthly record since it sold 46,514 cars in December 2012.
In the first 11 months of the year, Kia sold 2.76 million vehicles - 417,182 domestically and 2.34 million globally, up 6.8 percent over the same period a year ago.
The company said its new Sorento SUV and Carnival van led last month’s sales, with 6,157 units and 4,751 units sold, respectively. It added that it will aggressively market the new vehicles to overcome the global economic slowdown and the effects of the weaker Japanese yen.
Kia expects to sell more than 2.96 million cars by the end of the year.
“We had trouble with production [because of the wage issue], but since the assembly line was normalized, we expect to ride high next month as well,” a spokesman for Kia said.
Kia said it sold 9,347 units of the city car Morning in November, making it the best-seller in Korea.
Hyundai Motor said it has sold a total of 430,026 cars - 55,725 in the country and 374,301 internationally, up 4.3 percent year-on-year.
The company said its small sedan Avante led domestic sales with 8,006 units, followed by the Sonata (7,631), Grandeur (7,449), Genesis (2,527) and Accent (1,823). The automaker sold 1,320 of its new large sedan Aslan.
But November was slow for third-largest automaker, GM Korea.
The company said it sold 52,218 vehicles. Domestic sales went down by 12.5 percent year-on-year and exports declined by 25.5 percent.
However, the company said its accumulated sales of 136,272 cars in the past 11 months was its best ever, up by 2.3 percent from last year’s 133,187.
Renault Samsung Motors was the happiest company of the month, selling 8,568 cars domestically and 13,509 cars in the global market, a total increase of 56.9 percent from a year ago.
“Our new large-size sedan New SM7 Nova and SM5 diesel sedan led the sales,” the company said in a statement.
BY KWON SANG-SOO [firstname.lastname@example.org]
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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