Auto sales of Korean finished carmakers jumped 69.5 percent in April against Covid-19-hammered year-ago period largely on more than doubled Hyundai and Kia car sales in the United States and Europe where lives are quickly being normalized through vaccine rollouts.
Hyundai Motor, Kia and those under foreign ownership – GM Korea, Renault Samsung Motors and SsangYong Motor – sold a combined 653,139 vehicles in April at home and abroad, gaining 69.5 percent from a year ago when overseas factories shut down due to the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the companies on Monday.
Domestic sales that had increased for the first two months until March fell 6.6 percent in April on year to 135,601 units, while exports surged 115.5 percent to 517,538 units.
The country’s largest automaker Hyundai Motor Co. and its sibling Kia Corp. were primary driver.
Hyundai Motor delivered total 345,777 units in April, soaring 106.2 percent from a year ago. It sold 70,219 units at home, down 1.2 percent on year, but its overseas sales jumped 185.1 percent to 275,558 units from the previous year.
Grandeur sold 9,684 units at home, becoming the best-selling model. Nexo Fuel Cell sold 1,265 units, breaking the previous monthly high recorded in March. Its luxury marque Genesis car sales reached 13,890 units, similar to the previous month.
Hyundai Motor"s Grandeur. [Photo by Hyundai Motor Co.]
Kia sold total 249,734 units last month, up 78 percent on year. Sales added 1.5 percent to 51,128 units in Korea and overseas shipments expanded 120.9 percent to 198,606 units. Carnival became the best-selling model for eight consecutive months at home after selling 8,670 units. Sportage was the best-selling model outside Korea with sales of 26,788 units, followed by Seltos with 26,864 units and Forte with 22,591 units.
Three producers of foreign owners continued to suffer.
GM Korea under U.S. automaker General Motors Co. sold 21,455 units, falling 25.4 percent on year amid output adjustment due to chip shortages since February. Offshore sales declined 27.5 percent to 15,985 units, and sales at home were down 18.4 percent to 5,470 units.
Renault Samsung Motors, the Korean operation of French carmaker Renault S.A. sold 9,344 units in Korea, down 28.6 percent from a year earlier as its outbound shipments plunged 87.2 percent on year to 5,466 units. Domestic sales also dropped 50.4 percent to 9,344 units.
SsangYong Motor’s April sales sank 35.7 percent to 4,381 units due to factory shutdown for 12 days last month. Exports contracted 33.5 percent to 1,063 units, and domestic sales down 44.9 percent to 3,318 units. Newly released Rexton Sport Khan drew more than 5,000 orders since the launch early last month, but it failed to achieve its April sales target of 9,200 units – 6,000 units at home and 3,200 units overseas.
By Park Yun-gu and Lee Ha-yeon
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]