Car sales went into reverse in February

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Car sales went into reverse in February

Car sales declined in February due to decreased output caused by the Lunar New Year holiday.

The nation’s leading automaker, Hyundai Motor, said Monday its sales in the month dropped 5.5 percent from a year ago as it sold a total of 359,982 units, 46,859 in the country and 313,123 units in the international market.

It said sales were impacted by the New Year holidays as total output from domestic plants dropped from 98,205 in Feb. 2014 to 85,805 last month, or 12.6 percent. Last year, the three-day holiday fell in January.

“We think the numbers will improve as we will soon introduce some new models,” Hyundai Motor said in a statement.

Hyundai Motor’s sister company, Kia Motors, also had a middling month. It said that sales in February dropped by 8.7 percent from a year earlier as it sold a total of 221,669 units - 35,405 in the country and 186,264 on the global market. It said total output in domestic plants dropped by 21.4 percent from a year ago.

GM Korea, the third-largest automaker in the country, also struggled, as sales in the month dropped by 18 percent from a year earlier to 39,381 units, which includes 9,163 units in the country. It added that domestic sales dropped by 11 percent from a year ago due to the holiday, but sales of the 2015 Chevrolet Cruz rose by 5.6 percent from a year earlier to 1,265 units.

The nation’s smallest automaker, Ssangyong Motor, also saw a 17.6 percent drop in sales compared to a year ago, mainly due to the holiday and falling exports to Russia, one of the company’s biggest markets. The company sold a total of 9,724 units last month, 6,571 in the country and 3,153 on the international market. One positive for the company was that sales in Korea rose by 19.4 percent thanks to the Tivoli, a small SUV that was introduced to the market in mid-January.

A total of 2,312 Tivolis were sold in January and 2,898 units were sold in February. The company said it received more than 10,000 orders for Tivoli as of last week.

Renault Samsung Motors (RSM) was the only company that had a great month. The company said it sold a total of 15,360 units in February, up by 102. 5 percent from a year earlier. It said the SM5 Nova and SM3 Neo sedans led the sales.

It was RSM’s second consecutive month with growth above 100 percent after a 150.6 percent jump in January. The company said it sold 5,204 units in Korea and 10,426 units abroad.

BY KWON SANG-SOO [kwon.sangsoo@joongang.co.kr]


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