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Renault Samsung sales down 15.1 pct in 2013

The 2013 sales of Renault Samsung Motors Co. dropped 15.1 percent from a year earlier, a result of weak overseas demand, the South Korean division of French automaker Renault SA said Thursday.

The country's smallest car manufacturer sold a total of 131,010 vehicles last year, compared with 154,309 units tallied in 2012, the company said in a press release.

Domestic sales edged up 0.2 percent on-year to 60,027 units, thanks to the rise in demand for the SM3 compact sedan and QM5 small crossover utility vehicles. Sales of the two models rose 8.5 percent each compared with the year before, contributing to the positive domestic growth. On the other hand, sales of the company's medium SM5 and flagship SM7 sedans suffered a slump throughout the year.

Overseas shipments, meanwhile, nosedived 24.8 percent on-year, with 70,983 units.

Renault Samsung said its December sales dipped 3.6 percent overall from a year ago to 13,407 units sold. Domestic sales jumped 23.8 percent to 7,927 vehicles last month, while exports were down 27 percent to 5,480 units. The carmaker said that while overall numbers remained weak, December marked the first time in two years that monthly domestic sales surpassed the 7,000-unit mark.

"This may spell the revival of demand for cars made by Renault Samsung Motors in South Korea," the company claimed. (Yonhap News)