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Car output rise in February

Output of five automakers in Korea rose 6.4 percent on-year in February with strong demand at home and abroad also keeping their sales humming, an industry group said Monday.

Led by industry leader Hyundai Motor Co. and its affiliate Kia Motors Corp., the automakers produced 297,350 vehicles last month, compared with 279,368 units a year earlier, according to the Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association (KAMA).

Their sales rose 9.7 percent as exports jumped 15.2 percent on-year to 199,048 units with domestic sales rising 1.1 percent to 107,695 units.

Sales of passenger vehicles dropped 1.5 percent on-year in February, but a 16.5 percent spike in sales of commercial cars kept the Korean automobile market growing, according to KAMA.

The automakers said earlier that their global sales in February rose 16.5 percent from a year earlier, but the figures included vehicles produced and sold in foreign countries.

The automakers also include GM Korea Co., the Korean unit of General Motors Co.; Renault Samsung Motors Co., the Korean unit of French automaker Renault SA; and Ssangyong Motor Co., the country’s smallest automaker.

“Domestic sales in February rose 1.1 percent from the same period last year despite a rise in oil prices as the launch of new vehicles, including the Kia Morning and Hyundai Grandeur, attracted new buyers,” KAMA said in a press release.

The Kia Morning was the best-selling passenger car with 12,160 units sold in February, followed by the Grandeur, the best-selling mid-size sedan with 11,489 units sold.

“Exports also rose, despite the situation in the Middle East and Africa, on the growing global demand for automobiles and demand for quality vehicles produced in Korea,” KAMA said. 

(Yonhap News)
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