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Korea's auto exports up 7.5 percent on-year in Oct.

Korea's automobile exports rose solidly in October from a year earlier on growing demand for popular new models, the government said Sunday.

Outbound shipments of vehicles came to 259,306 units in October, up 7.5 percent from a year earlier, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

Shipments by Kia Motors Corp., the No. 2 car manufacturer and one of the flagships of Hyundai Motor Group, the world's fifth-largest automotive conglomerate, soared 40.1 percent on-year on strong demand for its Soul, Forte, Rio, Sedona and Sportage models.

Exports by local industry leader Hyundai Motor Co., however, backtracked 5.8 percent compared with the year before, mainly due to a sharp drop in demand for its Elantra sedan as overseas consumers wait for the release of the all-new sixth generation model.

The company said it sold 27,359 Accent subcompacts, making it the top-ranking export vehicle last month, while sales of its Tucson compact SUV remained strong.

Exports of automobiles made by GM Korea Co., Renault Samsung Motors Co. and Ssangyong Motor Co. were all down compared with October 2014.

Outbound shipments of auto parts also slipped 7.5 percent on-year to $2.27 billion, due in part to the high base effect created by record numbers tallied in 2014. The ministry said weaker demand in emerging markets, such as China, Russia and Brazil, further hurt numbers.

Total output by five local carmakers moved up 11.1 percent on-year in October to 405,167 units. Sales by Hyundai rose 5.3 percent on-year, with Kia surging 33.5 percent. Numbers for GM Korea and Ssangyong rose, while Renault Samsung lost ground.

Domestic sales were up a sharp 18.6 percent to 164,507 cars, with the ministry attributing the increase to the excise tax cuts, and release of new models like the Hyundai Avante and the Kia Sportage.

Sales of imported vehicles, meanwhile, grew 18.3 percent from a year earlier to 21,229. Compared with the month before, the number dropped 12.7 percent. (Yonhap)

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