SEOUL, May 2 (Korea Bizwire) – Sales numbers of vehicles produced overseas and sold here by local manufacturers shrank greatly in the first quarter of the year from a year earlier, data showed Thursday, apparently due to advances by local competitors.
Sales of the so-called OEM cars came to 3,171 units in the January-March period, sharply down 57.7 percent from the same period last year, according to the data compiled by the Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association.
OEM cars refer to vehicles produced overseas at the request of a local manufacturer and then sold here bearing the local manufacturer’s brand.
Currently, Renault Samsung and GM Korea Co., the local unit of U.S. automaker General Motors Co., rely on the OEM method to meet part of their local demand, apparently due to a lack of resources or as part of the global strategy of their parent companies. They both have production facilities here.
Renault Samsung saw a sharp decline in shipments and sales of the QM3 launched two years earlier, with a 50-percent on-year drop to 1,821 units in the first quarter, the data showed.
Last year, a total of 24,559 QM3 cars were sold here.
GM Korea had its annual sales of the new Impala luxury sedan plunge to 1,149 units in the January-March period, from 4,812 units a year earlier, according to the data.
In 2016, the overall sales of OEM cars came to 27,348, down 13.2 percent from 31,520 cars sold the previous year, according to the data.
This year, the number of OEM cars is expected to rise here on the launch of new vehicles. GM Korea is introducing its first fully electric vehicle, the Volt. Renault Samsung, too, is set to bring in the Twizy micro EV.