During the month of March 2018, five Korean automakers sold a total of 719,003 units in domestic and overseas markets, which was up 0.7% from the previous year, and up 25.8% from the previous month.
According to sales figures of five Korean automakers on March 2, domestic sales in March 2018 decreased by 4.4% from March last year to 139,932 due to the massive crisis of GM Korea, which is about to close its Gunsan factory, and Renault Samsung Motors currently experiencing a slump in sales. On the other hand, Ssangyong Motor and Kia Motors maintained a similar level of sales as in the previous year. Hyundai Motor has grown significantly in size with the blessing of the good sales of its new models.
Hyundai Motor grew 6.0% year-on-year with sales of 67,577 vehicles in March alone in the domestic market. Sales of the newly released Santa Fe model recorded a 13,05% increase from last year to 13,076 units and became the best seller of the year. The company explained that the number of Santa Fe’s stacked contracts surpassed 32,000 units, with as many as 13,000 units standing by. Grandeur also sold over 10,000 units, a decrease of 20.7% compared with the previous year, but 16,928 cars were delivered to consumers. It was followed by Avante with 5,928, down 15.3 % from March last year, and Sonata with 5,685, down 25,0 %. In the same period, Tucson recorded a decrease of 6.9% to 3,390 units, while Kona sold 4,098 units. Starex and Porter achieved sales of 4,540 and 8,881 units respectively.
The Genesis brand was up 7.4% year-on-year to 5,843. The G80 decreased by 10.6% to 3,618 units, while the EQ900 fell 28.8% to 992 units. The G70 sold 1,233 units leading the sales momentum.
Kia Motors sold 48,540 units, up 1.9% from March 2017. The new K3, which was introduced at the end of last February, as well as Ray, and the partially remodeled K5 changes led to the growth. K7 and Sorento have enjoyed steady popularity as well. In particular, the K3 sold 5,085 units, up 95.4% from the previous year, while the remodeled K5 sold 5,043 units, up 37.3%. In the same period, Ray increased 41.0% to 2,713, while Sorento increased 10.1% to 6,965. In addition, K7 decreased by 39.2% to 3,309, and Carnival fell by 12.4% to 5,708. Stonic, a small SUV, sold 1,625 units, Niro with 1,982 and Sportage with 3,147.
Ssangyong Motor posted sales of 9,243 units in the Korean market in March, up 0.2% from the previous year. Since its release, Rexton Sports has recorded cumulative contracts of more than 20,000 units, selling 3,007 units, and has achieved record monthly sales since 2004 (3,180 units for Musso Sports in April). As a result, the company plans to increase its production volume by changing the work patterns such as consecutive double shifts on three assembly lines that will produce Rexton Sports starting from this month. Tivoli sold 4,121 units, down 24.0% from a year earlier, while G4 Rexton sold 1,541 units, up 410.3% along with 288 Korando Cs and 286 Korando Turismos.
Renault Samsung sold 7,800 units, down 25.8 % year on year. SM6 dropped to 2,767 units, 42.9% from the previous year, and QM6 dropped 6.9% to 2,254 units. QM3 fell by 70.5% to 480 units, SM7 dropped by 20.5% to 465 units, while SM3 decreased by 25.2% to 397 units. However, SM5 grew 114.9% over the same period and delivered 950 units to consumers. SM3 Z.E., an electric model released from this year, sold 88 units while Twizy sold 399 units
GM Korea sold 6,272 units in the domestic market in March, plunging 57.6% from a year earlier but up 8.1% from February, when the shock hit Gunsan City in North Jeolla Province, Korea. This improvement was presumed to be the result of properly targeting consumers who hesitate to buy through the Chevy Promise program, which extends the warranty period to guarantee the used car values. Spark jumped 5.0% MoM to 2,518 units, and Cruise rose by 141.9% to 566 units. Captive delivered 138 units to customers, up 56.8% from February, while Orlando increased 20.0% to 438. However, Malibu dropped 21.7% to 909 units and Trax dropped 4.3% to 707 units. Damas and Labo sold only 285 and 351 units respectively. With more than 5,000 units pre-contracted, Bolt EVs started a full-scale delivery with the sales of 160 units in March.
Meanwhile, exports of five Korean auto makers in March 2018 totaled 579,571, an increase of 2.0% from March last year, showing growth of 24.4% from the previous month. Hyundai Motor’s exports grew by 0.8 % to 329,464 units, while Kia Motors exported 193,734 units, up 3.7 %. Renault Samsung posted a 30.4 % increase to 19,259 units. In the same period, GM Korea dropped 3.0% to 34,988, while Ssangyong Motor dropped 43.5% to 2,126.
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