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GM Korea domestic sales likely to exceed 10,000 units this month

2018/06/15 10:12

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SEOUL, June 15 (Yonhap) -- GM Korea Co., the South Korean unit of General Motors Co., is expected to report domestic vehicle sales exceeding 10,000 units this month in a sign that it is on track to recovery, industry sources said Friday.

GM Korea sold 7,670 vehicles in the local market in May, up 43 percent from a month earlier, driven by robust sales of the Malibu midsize sedan and the new Spark minicar.

In June, the company also expects to sell over 10,000 units domestically given it sold 3,000 units in the first 10 days.

In the January-May period, its overall sales were weak at 199,840 units, down 15 percent from 235,306 a year earlier.

To boost sales, GM Korea began to sell the U.S.-built Chevrolet Equinox sport-utility vehicle this month, with the Chevy Traverse SUV to be launched in the near future.

GM's Equinox SUV (Yonhap) GM's Equinox SUV (Yonhap)

The company aims to turn around next year by beefing up its lineup with SUV models, GM Korea President and Chief Executive Kaher Kazem said at the Busan motor show early this month.

In the 2014-2017 period, GM Korea posted 3.134 trillion won (US$2.9 billion) in accumulated net losses due to a lack of new models and weaker demand.

Last month, GM and the state-run Korea Development Bank (KDB), the two biggest shareholders in GM Korea, signed an agreement that will permit a combined 7.7-trillion-won lifeline -- 6.9 trillion won from GM and 810 billion won from the KDB -- to keep the loss-making Korean unit afloat.

Under the binding deal, GM Korea plans to launch 15 new or face-lifted vehicles, including two global products that will be allocated to GM's Korean plants, in the domestic market in the next five years. This month, the upgraded Spark and the Equinox were launched.

GM Korea plans to strengthen its lineup with more Chevy crossovers in order to make SUVs account for some 60 percent of total sales five years from now from the current 14 percent.

kyongae.choi@yna.co.kr

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