The combined sales of South Korea's five carmakers rose 3.8 percent in October from a year earlier on robust domestic sales of new sport-utility vehicles, corporate data showed on Nov. 1, 2018.
The five automakers -- Hyundai Motor Co., Kia Motors Corp., GM Korea Co., Renault Samsung Motors Corp. and SsangYong Motor Co. -- sold a total of 730,985 vehicles last month, up from 704,307 units a year earlier, the companies said.
Strong sales of new SUVs, such as Hyundai's Santa Fe, Kia's Sportage and SsangYong Motor's Rexton Sports, buoyed the monthly sales, the carmakers said.
Domestic sales jumped 24 percent to 139,557 vehicles last month from 112,332 units a year ago. Overseas sales inched up 0.09 percent to 591,428 autos from 591,975 during the same period, the data showed.
Hyundai sold 408,160 vehicles last month, up 0.9 percent from 404,321 units a year earlier. Sales of its 34 percent-owned affiliate Kia climbed 4.2 percent to 250,294 from 240,125 during the cited period.
Hyundai and Kia's overseas sales remained weak due to an escalating trade war between the United States and China. Higher recall-related costs, as well as quality-related expenses in the U.S., are expected to weigh on Hyundai's sales for the time being, analysts said.
Hyundai launched the all-new Santa Fe sport utility vehicle and the face-lifted Tucson SUV to bolster sales in the U.S. and other major markets this summer. Kia launched the new K3 compact. They expect the models to help improve sales this year.
To strengthen its lineup, Hyundai said it plans to launch a flagship Genesis sedan and a new large-sized SUV model in the domestic market within this year.
Hyundai and Kia, which together form the world's fifth-biggest carmaker by sales, aim to sell a total of 7.55 million vehicles globally in 2018, slightly higher than the 7.25 million units they sold last year. In the January-October period, they sold a combined 6.09 million units.
GM Korea and SsangYong Motor also came up with improved sales results last month.
GM Korea, the South Korean unit of General Motors Co., which sells its cars under the Chevrolet badge, posted a 17 percent on-year jump in sales to 40,477 autos in October from 34,535 a year earlier. SsangYong Motor's sales rose 24 percent to 13,352 from 10,744 during the same period.
The U.S.-made Equinox SUV and the upgraded Chevy Spark minicar, both launched in June, failed to achieve significant sales growth in the past five months.
As part of its broad self-rescue efforts, the GM unit plans to introduce 15 vehicles in the local market over the next five years. The Traverse SUV is the third model to be added to its lineup. GM owns a 77 percent stake in GM Korea.
Still, Renault Samsung's sales tumbled 22 percent on-year to 18,630 last month from 19,694. Renault S.A. owns an 80 percent stake in Renault Samsung.
In the January-October period, overall sales of the five carmakers inched up 0.97 percent to 6.78 million vehicles from 6.72 million a year ago. (Yonhap)
Kim Sua firstname.lastname@example.org
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