Car sales down 4.2 percent in August

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Car sales down 4.2 percent in August

Korea’s five carmakers posted a 4.2-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 639,435 vehicles in August, down from 658,373 units a year earlier, according to the companies’ data.

Their lackluster sales were mainly attributable to lower demand in China and emerging markets and uncertainties surrounding a yearlong trade battle between the United States and China - the world’s two biggest automobile markets.

Domestic sales fell 6.2 percent to 118,479 units last month from 520,956 a year ago. Overseas sales declined 2.1 percent to 520,956 from 532,037 during the same period, the data showed.

Hyundai and Kia, the country’s two biggest carmakers, reported no significant rebound in sales last month.

Hyundai’s sales fell 6.2 percent to 363,045 units last month from 386,885 a year earlier, but sales at its sister company, Kia, inched up 2.1 percent to 228,871 from 224,233 during the same period.

Hyundai, the maker of the Sonata sedan and the Sonata SUV, expects its Palisade SUV, which is now available in U.S. dealerships, to help boost sales in the second half.

Kia, which is 34-percent owned by Hyundai, also expects the Telluride SUV will give a boost to its annual sales, particularly in the U.S. market.

The two sold a combined 4.66 million units from January to August.

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