Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Auto sales are down all over...but -- "There's Got to be a Morning After"

Things are bad all over.

Korean automakers recently announced that production would be cut in reaction to slumping sales -- domestic as well as exports.

According to the automobile industry on Monday, the five major Korean automobile makers sold a total of 445,111 cars, including those sold overseas, last month, down 8.6 percent from a year ago.
Domestic sales plummeted by 27.3 percent, with only 74,217 cars sold, while overseas sales dropped 3.6 percent, with 370,894 cars sold. The Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association said, “Although overseas sales didn’t drop by a large margin until last month, the drop will increase from this month.” The monthly domestic sales’ performance was the lowest since February 2005.

But the good news is that minicar sales remain strong. The Kia Morning, the Kia Soul compact crossover and other small models will stay in production over the winter months. Kia Motors’ compact car, the Morning, topped the individual sales chart, becoming the first small car to do so since January 1999. The model is likely to stay atop the list for several months, with plenty of orders piled up over the next three months. These models boosted Kia’s domestic sales 3.7 percent on-year in November, making it the sole gainer among the five carmakers in the local market.

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