Hyundai, Kia compete with foreign car-makers in South Korea

Global Business

South Korean automakers Hyundai and Kia are struggling to maintain their stronghold on their domestic market. Recent imported-car sales are higher than ever, as foreign brands become more and more popular among consumers.

CCTV’s Joseph Kim filed this report from Seoul.

Hyundai, Kia compete with foreign car-makers in South Korea

Hyundai, Kia compete with foreign car-makers in South Korea

South Korean automakers Hyundai and Kia are struggling to maintain their stronghold on their domestic market. Recent imported-car sales are higher than ever, as foreign brands become more and more popular among consumers.

Highlights:

  • In March 2015, imported cars recorded the highest ever monthly sales in South Korea, exceeding 20,000 units sold. Domestic car-makers are feeling pressure from this market.
  • Hyundai Motor’s first quarter net profit for 2015 was down 2.2 percent, while sales revenues for Kia motors fell 6.3 percent. Hyundai and Kia are at risk of losing their dominant market share after decades of enjoying a near monopoly in the domestic market.
  • Japanese rivals like Toyota now have an extra edge competing for market share.While the won fell versus the dollar in the first quarter, it’s since soared against the Japanese currency, recently hitting seven-year highs.
  • Last year, Hyundai and Kia’s combined market share in South Korea dipped below 70 percent for the first time since the two companies merged in 1998.