26 November 2017

Korea Vehicle Sales : 1990-99


In a recent Australian car magazine it waxed lyrical about the Korean car industry. They had a Clark Kent style of man ripping his shirt apart to reveal a Korean flag on his chest. Call me cynical but I didn't buy the amazing rise of the industry because I know how much help it got and continues to get. Certainly Korea makes cars in goodly numbers but it is protected domestically by inordinate tariff barriers and has had government subsidies to help it along as well. No wonder it's so successful.

Of course it still has to make cars desirable in those markets that it has to genuinely compete and that has been achieved. The point I make is with the home market safely in its grasp, the profit made from that gives it a strong advantage.

Below in the chart we see Korean domestic sales by group. Hyundai and Hyundai Precision make up the first column. This is the most successful part of the Korean car industry. Through the 1990's it accounted for between 43-50% of local vehicle sales.

Then there is Kia and Asia Motors, the latter purchased by Kia in 1976 and gradually phased out. Kia itself filed for bankruptcy in 1997 and Hyundai moved in to become a shareholder and rescue it. It's share of the market varied form 21% to 35% over this decade.

Daewoo Motors was an ambitious company which along with Daewoo Heavy Industries had a reasonable share of domestic sales. It took over the troubled SsangYong company in 1998 but as that lasted only two years, SsangYong remains part of the 'Others' section. Daewoo/DHI ranged from 15 to 26% of the market.

Other Korean was mainly SsangYong which at best reached 9%. Also Samsung came along in 1998, but by 1999 it was already in trouble due to the Asian financial crisis. Lastly imports had just started and struggled to get 1% of sales due to the duties imposed. Would imports remain a rare treat for a privileged few?


Hyundai % Kia % Daewoo % Other % Imports % Total
Yr HDP
Asia
DHI
Korean

90 450,200 47 334,100 35 147,400 15 22,600 2 2,300 0 956,600
91 515,800 47 374,700 34 189,200 17 24,500 2 1,700 0 1,105,900
92 586,900 46 438,300 34 223,500 18 19,700 2 1,800 0 1,270,200
93 653,600 45 485,700 34 278,000 19 18,700 1 2,000 0 1,438,000
94 759,000 49 446,600 29 310,300 20 39,700 3 3,900 0 1,559,500
95 784,300 50 473,000 30 256,500 17 42,100 3 6,900 0 1,562,800
96 795,900 48 488,100 29 300,500 18 59,600 4 10,300 1 1,654,400
97 710,100 47 374,600 25 366,800 24 61,500 4 8,100 1 1,521,100
98 335,400 43 166,800 21 204,300 26 73,500 9 2,100 0 782,100
99 570,500 45 348,600 27 257,600 20 96,300 8 2,400 0 1,275,400

Picture credit: Ki hoon.

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