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Korean automotive companies witness jumps in sales, production

South Korea’s automotive industry has recovered to see sales and production grow by over 20 percent on-year in September, government data showed Monday.

According to the data from Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, the production of Korean cars increased by 23.2 percent in September, compared to the same time last year.

Overall sales went up as well. In September, 137,771 Korean cars were sold in the domestic market, up 22.2 percent compared to the year earlier.

The ministry also said exports saw gains for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. In the month, Korean carmakers exported 193,081 units, a 14.8 percent increase on-year.

While sales of German and Japanese automobile brands are slowly recovering, the total sales of imported cars marked 24,945 units in the month, down 9.7 percent on-year, the ministry said.

The ministry said the rising popularity of sport utility vehicles and newly released models have buoyed domestic sales and production. A sales recovery in the US market has also contributed to the growth in exports, the ministry added.

All of the five bestselling cars here were Korean, with Hyundai Motor’s Grandeur topping the list by selling 11,590 units in September. Kia Motors’ Carnival came second with 10,130 units, Kia’s Sorento was third with 9,151 units, and Hyundai’s Avante followed with 9,136 units. Kia’s K5 was fifth in the month, selling 7,485 units.

Looking at accumulated sales from January to September, the Hyundai Grandeur was also the bestselling car, with 113,810 units sold. Runner-up Kia Motors’ K5 sold 66,716 units in the same period, while the Hyundai Avante came third and the Kia Sorento came fourth, followed by the Hyundai Sonata.

As for environmentally friendly cars, such as electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, 24,375 units were sold in September, jumping 158.1 percent compared to the same month last year. While domestic sales of eco-friendly vehicles have been growing steadily, September posted the highest figure, the ministry added.

In September 2019, environmentally friendly cars accounted for 7.1 percent of total sales, and the portion grew to 15 percent this year.

By Jo He-rim (