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Hyundai's global sales rebound for first time since pandemic

Buyers flock to SUVs in South Korea and US

A Hyundai Motor factory in South Korea: the company's domestic sales jumped more than a third to about 67,000 units in September. (Photo courtesy of Hyundai)

SEOUL -- The Hyundai Motor group's monthly global sales have risen for the first time since the coronavirus gripped the world, with tax savings on auto purchases in South Korea and promotions in the U.S. helping to spark demand.

South Korea's biggest auto group sold roughly 620,000 vehicles worldwide in September, up 0.7% from a year earlier and the first gain in eight months. Sport utility vehicles were particularly in demand in South Korea and the U.S.

Hyundai Motor's sales in the home market surged 34% to about 67,000 units, while overseas sales slid 11% to around 293,000, the company said Monday. Group unit Kia Motors reported a 22% jump in domestic sales to about 51,000 vehicles and a rise of 8% to around 208,000 units elsewhere.

The group's aggregate sales for January-September came to 4.46 million vehicles, down 15% from year-earlier levels as both production and sales suffered from the lockdowns in such key markets as the U.S., Europe and India. But the decline was milder than the steep drops suffered by the Toyota Motor group and other multinational auto giants, and industry observers say Hyundai is managing to weather the COVID-19 storm relatively well.

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