South Korea’s car sales drop 4% in 2019 affecting major steelmakers

Tuesday, 07 January 2020 16:26:48 (GMT+3)   |   Istanbul

Car sales in South Korea posted another year of declining sales in 2019. The five major automotive carmakers in the country, Hyundai Motor, Kia Motors, GM Korea, Renault Samsung Motors and SsangYong Motor, sold 7.92 million vehicles in total, down 3.8 percent from 2018. Lower export shipments due to the slowdown in such a major market as China was the main reason for lower sales.

Car exports from South Korea fell 4.5 percent year on year to 6.39 million units, while domestic sales were at 1.53 million, down 0.8 percent compared to 2018.

POSCO and Hyundai Steel, the two leading steelmakers in the country, were affected by slowdown in the global auto making industry as their main focus over the recent year was on sales of high value-added products to carmakers. They were forced to increase exports of flat steel products of commercial quality in late 2019. In the January-November period last year, total crude steel production in South Korea marginally declined by 0.2 percent to 66.2 million mt, while output of BOF-based mills increased by 2.7 percent to 45.3 million mt, year on year.

The two biggest carmakers in South Korea, Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors, expect some gradual recovery of sales in 2020, with their sales target at 7.54 million units in total, about five percent above the result for 2019.


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