Hyundai Motor"s Grandeur. [Photo by Hyundai Motor Co.]
South Korea’s automobile output, sales at home and exports rose by double digits last month thanks to increased demand for new releases and extended tax benefits.
According to data released by the Korean Automobile Manufacturers Association on Thursday, domestic automobile sales totaled 101,735 units in February, up 23.9 percent from the same month a year ago.
All finished carmakers saw a sales growth at home, except for troubled SsangYong Motor Co.
Hyundai Motor Co. reported a 32.6 percent growth in auto sales thanks to strong demand for large sport utility vehicles like Tucson and Palisade and large sedans like Genesis models and Grandeur.
Kia Corp.’s sales expanded by 31 percent on solid demand for recreational vehicles like Carnival and Sorento, GM Korea by 2.3 percent, and Renault Samsung Korea by 6.2 percent.
SsangYong Motor saw a 47.6 percent sales plunge due to factory shutdowns on supply disruption caused by its suppliers’ refusal of supplying key parts for assembly.
Sales of recreational vehicles jumped 45.3 percent on year with new releases like Carnival and Tucson, taking up 55 percent of all passenger vehicles sold in February.
Hyundai Grandeur sedan sold total 8,563 units, becoming the best-selling model in the month. Kia Carnival came second, followed by Hyundai Tucson, Kia K5, and Hyundai Avante.
Electric vehicle sales slid 13.3 percent with consumers waiting the launch of new Ioniq 5 amid Hyundai Motor’s global recalls on EVs due to defective, fire-prone high-voltage battery cells. Sales of all eco-friendly vehicles however nearly doubled to 12,455 units in Korea on expanded demand for hybrids.
Exports also grew 35 percent on year to total 161,886 units in February amid a recovery in demand from the United States and Europe.
Automobile output from Korea rose to 260,958 units, gaining 37.9 percent from last year when production was disrupted due to the fast spread of Covid-19.
By Park Yun-gu and Lee Ha-yeon
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]