Global auto sales by South Korean carmakers reduced last month as exports declined on less working days caused by the Lunar New Year holiday, industry data showed Monday.
The country's five automakers, including Hyundai, Kia, GM Korea, Renault Samsung and Ssangyong, sold a total of 740,705 vehicles in the global market in January, down 2.1 percent from the same month of last year.
Domestic auto sales rose 1.9 percent from a year earlier to 106, 343 units in January, but overseas sales, including exports and sales of cars manufactured in overseas factories, fell 2.7 percent to 634,362 units.
The reduction in overseas sales came from a fall in exports caused by the Lunar New Year holiday that moved to January this year from February last year. The move reduced working days by 2 days last month compared with a year earlier.
Overseas sales by Hyundai Motor, the country's No.1 carmaker, edged down 0.3 percent in January from a year ago, and those by Kia, Hyundai's affiliate, decreased 1.3 percent last month. GM Korea's car exports plunged 25.3 percent, and Ssangyong's overseas shipments slid 6 percent.
In the local market, Hyundai saw its car sales jump 28.4 percent in January from a year earlier thanks to robust demand for sport utility vehicles (SUV). Kia's domestic auto sales declined 6. 2 percent, but GM Korea's car sales gained 8.3 percent on demand for recreational vehicle (RV) models.