SEOUL, April 19 (Yonhap) — Sales of pickup trucks in South Korea tumbled more than 34 percent in the first quarter of the year amid sluggish demand, industry data showed Monday.

A total of 5,539 pickup trucks were sold in Asia’s fourth-largest economy in the January-March period, down 34.4 percent from a year earlier.

SsangYong Motor Co. saw sales of its Rexton Sports come to 4,391 units in the three-month period, down a whopping 42.1 percent from the previous year.

GM Korea sold 940 units of the midsized Colorado pickup truck in the first quarter, down 35.4 percent from a year earlier, with sales of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ Jeep Gladiator pickup amounting to a mere 198.

With the debut of the Rexton Sports, pickup truck sales in the country passed the 40,000 mark in 2018 and rose to 42,619 in 2019 before falling to 38,464 last year.

Industry sources predicted the domestic pickup truck market to bounce back this year thanks to the rollout of new models and growing demand for pickups amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Last week, Ford Korea released its souped-up Ranger pickup truck for the first time in South Korea.

SsangYong Motor launched the new Rexton Sports and the Rexton Sports Kahn on April 5, 10 days before it was placed under court receivership once again amid worsening financial status.

SsangYong Motor Co.'s new pickup, the Rexton Sports Kahn (Yonhap)