The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced on July 20 that car production, car exports, and domestic sales all saw year-on-year declines in June due to two fewer working days.
Automobile exports decreased 7.7 percent year-on-year to 218,874 vehicles in June 2018. In terms of value, they shrank 9.9 percent to USD 3.5 billion. This decrease is attributable to the export slowdown in the U.S. market and due to production increases in Korean automakers’ overseas plants.
By region, shipments to North America decreased 10.6 percent to $1.4 billion, the Middle East 29.8 percent to $356 million, Central and South America 17.8 percent to $226 million, Oceania 22.6 percent to $216 million, and to Asia down by 8.8 percent to $195 million. In contrast, exports to the European Union (EU) increased 0.2 percent to $639 million, and those to the rest of Europe rose 23.0 percent to $249 million.
The number of domestic vehicles produced by seven Korean manufacturers (Hyundai Motor, Kia Motors, GM Korea, Ssangyong Motor, Renault Samsung Motors, Zyle Daewoo Bus, and Tata Daewoo) fell 12.2 percent year-on-year to 336,183 units due to slower exports and the discontinuation of some models.
The number of cars sold in Korea inched downward 5.5 percent to 155,724 units mainly because of fewer working days. While domestic sales of Korea-made cars shrunk 7.0 percent to 129,082 units, those of imported cars grew 3.0 percent to 26,642 units.
Domestic sales of eco-friendly cars jumped 14.5 percent to 11,055 units, as electric cars saw a rise in demand. Exports of green cars contracted 20.9 percent to 13,153 units, primarily due to a decline in hybrid car demand.
Automobile parts shipments to North America and Oceania declined 8.4 percent to $662 million and 33 percent to $9 million, respectively. Meanwhile, exports of automobile parts expanded 2.5 percent year-on-year to $2.0 billion on the back of sales recovery in the Chinese markets. Shipments to Asia, the EU, and China climbed 10.4 percent to $534 million, 0.8 percent to $354 million, and 71.3 percent to $265 million, respectively. Those to non-EU European countries and to Central and South America increased 2.3 percent to $155 million and 10.7 percent to $112 million, respectively.
Between January and June 2018, the Korean automotive industry produced a total of 2,004,744 vehicles, down 7.3 percent from the same period in 2017. Exports decreased 7.5 percent to 1,222,528 vehicles during this time. Domestic sales recorded 900,820 vehicles, flat compared to a year earlier.