Two of South Korea's biggest automakers, Kia Motors Corp. and Hyundai Motor Co., led a 17th straight gain in monthly global sales in November as new models helped boost sales.
Kia, which is a Hyundai affiliate, increased sales 33 percent to 222,116 units. In a statement made to the Korea Exchange, Hyundai said that it sold 314,569 vehicles last month, 1.4 percent more than a year earlier.
Sales outside South Korea rose 5.5 percent, while domestic sales fell 13 percent partly because of an Ulsan plant strike, which reduced deliveries to dealers.
Industry-wide sales for South Korea's five automakers, which also include GM Daewoo Auto & Technology Co., Ssangyong Motor Co. and Renault Samsung Motors Co., climbed 4 percent to 633,758 vehicles in November. Overseas sales grew 20 percent and domestic sales dropped 3.4 percent.
A Seoul-based analyst at LIG Investment & Securities Co., Park In Woo, says that sales outside of South Korea remained brisk, helping offset slow growth rate at home.
He adds that demand in China, Russia and the U.S. will help boost sales in 2011. Hyundai rose 3.8 percent to close at KPW179,000 in Seoul trading, while Kia gained 3.2 percent to KPW50,500. The benchmark Kospi index rose 1.3 percent.