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Overseas demand boosts carmakers’ sales in Jan.

All five local carmakers saw January sales increase from a year earlier on the back of strong demand from overseas markets, industry data showed Tuesday.

Their total sales came to 626,806 vehicles, up 21.9 percent from 514,094 units sold in the same period last year.

Their domestic sales grew 1.4 percent to 120,577 units and overseas sales, including exports, jumped 28.1 percent to 506,229 units.

Kia Motors Corp., Korea’s second-largest carmaker, said that its sales in the month increased 33.1 percent.

Kia sold 217,243 vehicles last month, compared with 163,238 units a year earlier, the company said. January marks the third straight month it has sold more than 200,000 cars.

Domestic sales rose 19.1 percent from a year earlier to 40,502 units last month, with exports jumping 36.8 percent to 176,741 vehicles, the company said.

GM Daewoo Auto & Technology posted an increase of 21.5 percent from a year ago. GM Daewoo sold 68,356 vehicles, compared with 56,281 vehicles sold in January 2010, it said. The number, however, represents a 3.9 percent drop from its combined sales in December.

Domestic sales rose 10.4 percent from the same period last year to 10,006 units with exports jumping 23.6 percent on-year to 58,350, which also marked a 2.7 percent increase from the previous month.

The country’s smallest carmaker Ssangyong Motor Co. also saw its sales soar 64.7 percent from a year earlier on strong overseas demand.

The company sold 7,579 vehicles last month, up 64.7 percent from the same month last year.

Domestic sales increased 41.8 percent on-year to 2,857 units with exports jumping 82.6 percent to 4,722 vehicles, the company said.

While the country’s largest carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. and the No. 4 Renault Samsung Motors Co. saw their exports rise, their domestic sales in January had declined from a year ago.

According to Hyundai, its sales in January increased 14.2 percent from a year earlier as a large increase in overseas sales more than offset a drop in sales in the local market.

Domestic sales dropped 7.3 percent on-year to 55,412 units, but exports rose 20.3 percent to 254,388 vehicles, it added.

Renault Samsung also posted similar changes.

Last month, its overall sales increased 27.6 percent from the same period last year, as an exports rise offset the decline in domestic sales. Domestic sales plunged 15.7 percent from a year earlier and 10.5 percent from December to 11,800 units. Exports kept the company’s sales growing from a year before with 12,028 vehicles shipped overseas, up 157.4 percent from the same month in 2010.

(From news reports )
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