Hyundai Motor reported its weakest monthly sales in five months on Monday, as foreign sales slowed on easing demand growth from major markets such as China and the United States.


Hyundai cars are displayed during the second media day of the 79th Geneva Car Show at the Palexpo in Geneva March 4, 2009.

Hyundai Motor, one of the top global performers during the financial crisis and sales slump that followed, sold 293,460 cars in July, up 11.8 percent from a year ago, but down 6.4 percent from the previous month and the weakest figure since February.

Domestic sales edged up 0.8 percent from June to 49,055 vehicles, after dropping for the third successive month to a 10-month low in June on tough competition in the absence of new models.

On Monday, South Korea's largest automaker unveiled its upgraded compact Elantra, its best selling foreign car, and said it was targeting sales of 83,000 Elantra vehicles domestically this year and 125,000 next year.

Its affiliate Kia Motors posted monthly sales of 179,003 cars, another all-time high and up 41 percent from a year ago, powered by impressive sales of its new K5 sedan, Sorento R and Sportage R SUV models.

Ssangyong Motor Co, which is up for sale and has extended the bid deadline to August 10, reported July sales jumped more than 100 times to 7,369 units, providing reassurance that the cash-strapped automaker was on a firm recovery track under a court-led restructuring plan.

By 0555 GMT, shares in Hyundai Motor rose 2.4 percent to a record high of 152,500 won after it posted a record quarterly profit last week, while Kia shares jumped 4.4 percent.

(Reporting by Cheon Jong-woo and Seo Jiwon. Writing by Miyoung Kim; Editing by Jonathan Hopfner)