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Auto sales fall in April on slumping global demand

Four of South Korea’s automakers posted declines in their April sales, mostly on weaker demand from overseas markets, the carmakers said Monday.

The combined sales of Hyundai Motor, Kia Motors, GM Korea, Renault Samsung Motors and Ssangyong Motor fell 7.2 percent to stand at 740,036 units in April.

Hyundai vehicles are lined up at Ulsan Port, waiting for shipment. (Yonhap)
Hyundai vehicles are lined up at Ulsan Port, waiting for shipment. (Yonhap)

Domestic sales grew 4.2 percent on-year to 139,617 units, while exports dropped 9.5 percent to 600,419 units, the data showed.

Market leader Hyundai Motor posted a 5.5-percent decline in its April sales and second-ranked Kia Motors logged an 11.4-percent decline. The two saw their combined car sales at both home and abroad decline 7.8 percent.

GM Korea and Renault Samsung, units of U.S. and French carmakers operating plants here, saw sales falling 4.1 percent and 6 percent on-year, respectively.

Both did well in South Korea, but the performance was insufficient to offset marked setbacks abroad. Overseas sales by GM Korea and Renault Samsung fell 8.6 percent and 17.9 percent.

Ssangyong Motor, owned by India’s Mahindra & Mahindra, was the only firm that posted growth in April.

Ssangyong sold 7.4 percent more cars in April than last year, as domestic demand spiked 12.3 percent. Its popular Tivoli brand led the way with its sales jumped 57.5 percent on-year.

The cumulative sales of the five automaker during the first four months of this year came to around 2.79 million units, down 5.8 percent from the same period a year earlier, the data showed.