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Hyundai Motor, Kia Lead South Korean Automakers' November Sales Higher

Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp., South Korea’s two largest automakers, led a 17th straight gain in monthly global sales in November as new models helped boost sales outside of the country.

Hyundai sold 314,569 vehicles last month, 1.4 percent more than a year earlier, the Seoul-based carmaker said in a statement to the Korea Exchange. Sales outside South Korea rose 5.5 percent, while sales at home fell 13 percent partly because a strike at a plant in Ulsan, southeast of Seoul, reduced deliveries to dealers. Kia, an affiliate of Hyundai, boosted sales 33 percent to 222,116 units.

Industrywide sales for the country’s five automakers, which also include Ssangyong Motor Co., GM Daewoo Auto & Technology Co. and Renault Samsung Motors Co., increased 14 percent to 633,758 vehicles in November. Domestic sales fell 3.4 percent, while overseas sales grew 20 percent.

“Sales outside of South Korea remained brisk, helping offset slow growth rate at home,” said Park In Woo, a Seoul- based analyst at LIG Investment & Securities Co. He said demand in the U.S., China and Russia will help increase sales next year.

Hyundai rose 3.8 percent to close at 179,000 won in Seoul trading today, while Kia gained 3.2 percent to 50,500 won. The benchmark Kospi index rose 1.3 percent.

Production at Hyundai’s plant in Ulsan has been halted since Nov. 15 when temporary workers began a sit-in protest demanding they be made permanent employees. The strike had delayed the production of 20,018 vehicles worth 220 billion won ($191 million) as of early today, the company said in a separate e-mailed statement. Hyundai may consider shutting down the plant if the temporary workers continue the strike, Vice President Kang Ho Don said in the statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sookyung Seo in Seoul at sseo10@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kae Inoue at kinoue@bloomberg.net

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