Global automobile sales by South Korean carmakers posted a record monthly high in March due to strong demand at home and abroad, industry data showed Tuesday. Global car sales by the five South Korean automakers, including Hyundai, Kia, GM Korea, Renault Samsung and Ssangyong, expanded 8. 5 percent from a year earlier to reach a new high of 788,922 in March. Domestic sales increased 2.7 percent on year to 121,416 vehicles last month, keeping an upward trend for the third straight month. Overseas sales, including exports and sales in cars assembled in overseas factories, jumped 9.6 percent to 667,506 units in March. Except for Kia, the four carmakers saw their car sales in the domestic market increase last month. Hyundai's local car sales advanced 3.1 percent in March from a year earlier amid solid demand for its flagship models such as Genesis and Grandeur. Kia's local sales reduced 1.3 percent, but those for GM Korea, Ssangyong and Renault Samsung grew 1.5 percent, 18.8 percent and 17.2 percent respectively, shrugging off sluggish sales in the past months. Growth in overseas sales was faster than those in the local market. Hyundai's overseas car sales increased 11.9 percent last month, with those for Kia jumping 18.5 percent. Ssangyong's auto exports soared 26.5 percent on year in March, but exports of GM Korea and Renault Samsung plunged more than 20 percent.