GM Korea, the Korean unit of U.S auto giant General Motors that got bailouts from its parent company and the South Korean government early this year, continues to struggle to get back on track with its August sales nearly halved from a year ago.
GM Korea said Monday that its auto sales in August sank 44.1 percent to 23,101 units from a year earlier period. Its domestic sales shrank 26.1 percent on year to 7,391 units while outbound shipments plunged 49.8 percent to 15,710 units. The company again failed to reclaim the No.3 position it lost to Ssangyong Motor in March.
Its domestic sales in August were mainly led by its refurbished compact vehicle The New Spark that sold total 3,303 units. The model has been sold by more than 3,000 units for three months in a row since its facelift model was released in late May. Following The New Spark were Malibu and Trax that sold 1,329 units and 838 units, respectively, in Korea. Sales of Bolt EV, the electric vehicle model, reached 631 units.
The automaker’s sales have been on a downward spiral since it announced the shutdown of its Gunsan factory due to liquidity woes amid sluggish sales early this year. The automaker was saved on the brink of insolvency in May when the Detroit-based parent company General Motors and state-run Korea Development Bank, the lead creditor and major shareholder of GM Korea, agreed on a $7.15 billion rescue package. Still there is no sign of immediate recovery in its sales.
Between January and August this year, GM Korea sold total 58,888 units at home, down 37.0 percent from the same period last year. Its outbound shipments also contracted 7.7 percent to 247,645 units over the same period.
Meanwhile, Ssanyong Motor, No. 3 automaker in Korea following Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors in terms of sales, said it sold a total of 11,421 vehicles - 9,055 units at home and 2,366 units (including complete knock-down model) abroad in August, down 2.6 percent from a year ago period.
By Kang Young-woon and Cho Jeehyun
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