S. Korean carmakers’ sales up 4.3 pct in Jan.

Sales of carmakers in South Korea rose more than 4 percent on-year in January thanks largely to strong overseas demand, according to industry data Thursday. Five automakers in South Korea -- Hyundai Motor Co., Kia Corp., GM Korea Co., Renault Korea Motors and KG Mobility -- sold a combined 633,236 units last month, up 4.3 percent from the previous year, according to the data by the firms. Industry leader Hyundai saw its sales gain 1.8 percent to 315,555 units, with those of smaller affiliate Kia climbing 4.2 percent to 244,940 units. GM Korea, the South Korean unit of General Motors Co., sold 43,194 units last month, up 165.8 percent from a year earlier. KG Mobility and Renault Korea, however, suffered setbacks. The top line of KG Mobility sank 16.4 percent to 9,172 units, and Renault Korea logged an 81.4-percent tumble to 1,871 units. Renault Korea, in particular, faced difficulties in exports last month due to tensions in the Red Sea in the Middle East following the conflict between Israel and Hamas. J anuary's most popular car model on the domestic market was Kia's Sorrento SUV, selling 9,284 units, followed by Hyundai's Santa Fe and Kia's Carnival minivan models with 8,016 units and 7,049 units, respectively. Source: Yonhap News Agency