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New models lead strong sales by Hyundai, Kia, SsangYong

Posted February. 02, 2018 08:38,   

Updated February. 02, 2018 08:38


South Korean carmakers Hyundai Motor Co., Kia Motors Corp. and SsangYong Motor Co. showed strong sales performances in the domestic market in January thanks to robust sales of popular vehicles, eco-friendly car and new models.

Hyundai Motor said on Thursday that it sold a total of 51,426 vehicles in the local market last month, up 14 percent from a year earlier. Leading the sales were the i30 hatchback (301 units) and the eco-friendly Ionic (1,298 units), up 258.3 percent and 147.2 percent, respectively, from January 2017. The top-selling sedan Grandeur IG also performed relatively well, with 9,601 units sold last month.

In the highly competitive subcompact sports utility vehicle (SUV) sector, Hyundai’s Kona was the top seller in January, with 3,507 units sold, beating Ssangyong’s Tivoli by 390 units. Hyundai’s luxury brand Genesis saw the sales of both the G80 and EQ900 models increase year-on-year in January, while the smaller G70, the winner of the 2018 Car of the Year, suffered a 12.4 percent decline in sales last month, the fifth month since its debut, compared with the previous month.

Kia Motors also saw an 11.7 percent rise in domestic sales in January from a year earlier with sales of 39,105 vehicles, led by strong sales of the facelifted Ray (2,645 units) and the K5 (2,826 units). The carmaker sold 484 units of the Stinger sports sedan, keeping the upward sales trajectory, while seeing the sales of the top-selling mid-size SUV Sorento jump by 13.8 percent to 5,906 units during the same period.

Ssangyong sold 7,675 cars last month, up 9.4 percent from a year earlier, posting its strongest January sales since 2004, when it sold 8,575 units. The sales of the G4 Rexton SUV shot up by 384.2 percent during the same period to 1,351 units. Ssangyong saw the sales of its subcompact SUV Tivoli, which is competing fiercely with rivals made by Hyundai and Kia, fall by 19.1 percent to 3,117 units in January.

Eun-Taek Lee nabi@donga.com