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Domestic Car Sales Hit 45-month Low in Nov.

Posted December. 02, 2008 03:38,   


Sales by domestic carmakers in the Korean market last month set a 45-month low, auto industry data released yesterday said.

The country’s five carmakers have significantly reduced their manufacturing volume. For example, Renault Samsung Motors will suspend operations at its Busan factory from Dec. 24 to Jan. 1.

The number of cars sold by the five companies in Korea fell 28.2 percent to 74,217 units in November year-on-year. The figure also dropped 29.8 percent from October, setting a new low since 72,416 sold in February 2005.

Renault Samsung Motors said, “We’ll suspend the operation of our Busan factory from Dec. 24 to Jan. 1, 2009, due to sluggish demand. Since Christmas and the weekend fall in the period, we effectively suspend operation for only five days.”

GM Daewoo began suspending operations at its second Bupyeong factory from yesterday. All factories of the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group save a few factories producing compact cars have asked employees not to do extra work.

The presidential office of Cheong Wa Dae has made an effort to protect parts suppliers from damage stemming from the decline in manufacturing activities.

A Cheong Wa Dae official said, “The government will invite presidents of domestic carmakers to Cheong Wa Dae and promise to consider tax benefits as requested by carmakers. For their part, carmakers should seek measures to minimize the aftermath of declining manufacturing activities. They should consider measures to establish assembly lines to produce hybrid cars.”

“The carmakers’ decision to suspend manufacturing immediately affects part suppliers. The government will establish effective policies to prevent the crisis in the real economy from negatively affecting the auto industry.”

jinhup@donga.com ddr@donga.com