Carmakers see sales plummet 8.8% in June

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Carmakers see sales plummet 8.8% in June

Korea’s five carmakers posted an 8.8-percent on-year decline in sales last month as demand remained weak in global markets, industry data showed Monday.

The five carmakers - Hyundai Motor, Kia Motors, GM Korea, Renault Samsung Motors and SsangYong Motor - sold a combined 680,455 vehicles in June, down from 745,753 units a year earlier, according to data released by them.

The companies blamed lower demand in major markets, such as China, for their lackluster sales results last month, while expressing concerns that the ongoing trade war between the United States and China will continue to weigh on their sales unless there is a breakthrough.

Domestic sales fell 5.2 percent to 124,963 units last month from 131,827 a year ago. Overseas sales declined 9.5 percent to 555,492 from 613,926 during the same period, the data showed.

Hyundai and Kia, the country’s two biggest carmakers, didn’t report any significant rebound in sales last month due to low demand in China and emerging markets, like Turkey.

Hyundai’s sales fell 8.3 percent to 378,714 units last month from 412,852 a year ago.

The maker of the Sonata sedan and the Santa Fe sport utility vehicle (SUV) expects the Palisade SUV, which is now on sale in the U.S. market, to help boost sales in the second half.

Sales of its 34-percent-owned affiliate Kia fell 6.2 percent to 236,229 units from 251,856 a year ago.

The two appear to badly need to bolster sales in China, the world’s biggest automobile market, to achieve their sales target of 7.55 million vehicles for this year.

From January to May, their sales in China plunged 22 percent to 343,383 autos from 438,364 during the year-ago period, the data said.

In contrast, they have posted improved sales in the United States and Europe, helped by competitive SUVs and localized models.

In the United States, their sales rose 3.4 percent to 525,289 from 507,988 during the same period, and they gained 0.2 percent to 457,153 from 456,023 in Europe.

Kia’s U.S. sales were boosted by the Telluride SUV, a model designed specifically for the North American market, in the United States.

Hyundai’s domestic sales rose 2.5 percent to 60,987 units last month from 59,494 a year ago, while overseas sales fell 10 percent to 317,727 from 353,358 over the cited period, the statement said.

Domestic sales declined 7.8 percent on year to 42,405 units last month from 46,000.

Three other carmakers all posted declines in June sales due to weak demand for their models.

GM Korea sold 36,451 vehicles, down 22 percent from 46,546 a year ago, on weak demand for the Impala sedan and the Equinox SUV.

SsangYong’s sales fell 18 percent to 10,159 from 12,434 during the same period and Renault Samsung’s plunged 25 percent to 11,122 from 14,801.

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