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Auto sales fall 1.7 in July as demand

South Korea's five carmakers posted a 1.7 percent on-year decline in sales last month as demand remained weak in global markets, industry data showed Thursday.

The five carmakers -- Hyundai Motor Co., Kia Motors Corp., GM Korea Co., Renault Samsung Motors Corp. and SsangYong Motor Co. -- sold a combined 636,881 vehicles in July, down from 647,574 units a year earlier, according to the companies' data.

The auto makers blamed lower demand in major markets, such as China, for their lackluster sales results last month and expressed concerns that a prolonged trade war between the United States and China would continue to weigh on their sales for the rest of the year.

Domestic sales fell 2 percent to 131,135 units last month from 133,792 a year ago. Overseas sales also declined 0.2 percent to 505,746 from 513,782 during the same period, the data showed

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