SEOUL, July 14 (Yonhap) -- Recreational vehicles (RVs) accounted for nearly half of South Korean carmakers' domestic sales in the first half of the year, industry data showed Sunday. In South Korea, SUVs and minivans are included in the RV category.
According to the data, the country's five automakers, including Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp., sold 303,315 RVs in the first six months of the year, up 5.8 percent from a year earlier. RVs accounted for 48.4 percent of the total passenger car sales in the first half of the year, 3 percentage points higher than a year ago, the data showed.
No. 1 player Hyundai Motor sold 118,704 SUVs in the first half, up 27.2 percent from a year ago. Its SUVs accounted for more than 40.6 percent of the company's total passenger car sales in the first half.
Hyundai's popular SUV models, the Palisade and the Santa Fe, led the brisk sales as 31,502 units and 44,088 units, respectively, were sold in the local market.
RVs took 48.7 percent of Kia's domestic sales in the first half with 102,615 units. Kia said 33,836 Carnival minivans were sold in South Korea, followed by two SUV models: the Sorento with 26,681 units and the Sportage with 16,169 units.
Renault Samsung Motors Corp. reported that RVs accounted for 52.6 percent of its first-half domestic sales, with 18,730 units sold.
Ssangyong Motor Co. said its 55,950 cars sold in the first half were all RVs. GM Korea had the smallest RV sales among local automakers with some 7,000 units sold, accounting for only 22.8 percent of its first-half sales.
Industry insiders expect sales of RVs, in particular SUVs, will continue to rise in the second half of the year as new SUV models are introduced in the market.
Hyundai last week introduced the all-new entry-level Venue SUV, aiming to sell 8,000 units this year. Kia is set to release the Seltos compact SUV in South Korea this week.
Renault Samsung last month introduced a facelifted model of its QM6 midsize SUV, while Ssangyong also released a upgraded model of the Tivoli SUV.
GM Korea said it will launch the Colorado pickup truck and the Traverse SUV in South Korea by September.