South Korean car shipment for domestic sales fell to a seven-year low in January as output was interrupted by the Lunar New Year holiday break and partial strikes at some car producers.
According to data released by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy on Friday, auto production in Korea plunged 29 percent from a year ago to 251,573 units in January.
Carmakers in the country sold a combined 116,153 units in the local market, down 14.7 percent on year due to the reduced working days and end of tax benefits.
Domestic sales of Korean manufacturers tumbled 15.9 percent to 98,755 units despite sound sales of new models including Hyundai’s Sonata, Genesis GV80 SUV, Kia’s Seltos and K5. It marked the first time in seven years since February 2013 for the Korean makers’ domestic sales to fall below the 100,000 level.
Imported cars sold 17,398 units in January, down 7 percent as sales of Japanese brands plunged 64.8 percent on the back of the ongoing consumer boycott against Japan.
Overseas shipments slipped 28.1 percent to 150,974 units, hit by GM Korea’s suspension of exports to Europe and the cut in Renault Samsung Motor Korea’s shipments of Nissan Rogue SUV.
Eco-friendly car sales in the domestic market dipped 11.5 percent to 7,493 units due to the sluggish sales of imported hybrid electric vehicles, despite a 17.2 percent gain in sales by Korean makers.
Auto parts producers in the nation shipped $1.74 billion worth products last month, down 15 percent on year amid weakening demand from China and global market instability caused by Britain’s exit from the European Union and U.S.-China trade conflicts.
By Choi Mira
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]