South Korean carmakers' global auto sales rose in three years last year due to a temporary tax cut for car purchase in the local market and solid demand from emerging economies, industry data showed on Wednesday.
Global auto sales by Hyundai, Kia, GM Korea, Renault Samsung and Ssangyong totaled 8,231,418 vehicles in 2018, up 0.4 percent from the previous year. It was the first growth in three years after falling in 2016 and 2017.
Despite the weak private consumption, domestic car sales reached 1,545,604 units in 2018, slightly down 0.3 percent from a year earlier thanks to the government's temporary consumption tax cut.
Local car sales by GM Korea tumbled as the South Korean unit of U.S. automaker General Motors closed down one of its five local plants earlier this year.
It was offset by strong sales of Hyundai Motor, the country's biggest carmaker, and its affiliate Kia Motors.
Overseas car sales by the five automakers were up 0.6 percent over the year to 6,687,128 vehicles last year.
Car sales by Hyundai and Kia in overseas markets grew 1.3 percent and 2.5 percent, respectively, thanks to robust demand from emerging markets.