The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced on March 16 that production of automobiles grew 3.8 percent in April from a year ago, driven by a 7-percent growth in exports.
Five domestic automotive makers, Hyundai Motor, Kia Motors, GM Korea, SsangYong Motor, and Renault Samsung Motors, together manufactured 382,566 vehicles in April -- up 3.8 percent year-on-year. The growth was led by the increase in exports despite slower domestic sales.
The number of vehicles exported advanced 7 percent to 242,416. In terms of value, automobile exports jumped 11.6 percent to $3.9 billion on higher sales of eco-friendly cars and large-sized vehicles. They grew for the third consecutive month. Shipments to all regions except North America and Asia expanded.
Domestic sales declined 3.1 percent to 153,578 vehicles from a year earlier when car purchases increased on temporary tax cuts on automobiles.
The sales of vehicles manufactured in Korea contracted 4.6 percent to 131,741 cars as consumers wait for the launches of new vehicles models. The sales of imported cars rose by 7.8 percent to 21,837 units with certain foreign brands seeing more purchases of newly released car models.
Outbound shipments of automobile parts shrank 10.4 percent to $1.9 billion as production at Korea automotive makers’ overseas plants decreased. Exports of automobile components to the U.S. and Asia contracted along with slower vehicle sales in the regions, while those to Russia and the Middle East surged at double-digit rates.
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