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Korea’s auto industry experiences decline in February
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced on March 13 that Korea’s automobile industry in February experienced a decline in exports, production, and domestic sales compared to the same period year earlier.
Total auto output in February fell 26.4 percent to 189,235 units. The decrease was attributable mainly to the shortage of auto parts from China and the temporary shutdown of production lines due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Domestic sales of automobiles also slowed down 18.8 percent to 97,897 units because of supply and demand disruptions as well as falling consumer confidence in the spread of the COVID-19.
Outbound shipments of Korean automobiles fell 25.0 percent to 123,022 units compared to the same period last year. However, the rise in export share of high value-added vehicles such as sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and eco-friendly vehicles led to relatively small decline in exports in value terms.
Exports of Korean eco-friendly cars in February inched down 0.3 percent to 14,649 units. However, both domestic sales and exports of electric vehicles (EVs) and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) increased greatly. EV exports gained 10.5 percent to 4,502 units and posted growth for the 31st consecutive month and FCEVs jumped 136.8 percent to 90 units and recorded 20 months of increase.
For auto parts, exports in February went up 10.1 percent to $1.8 billion. While shipments to North America, the EU, Africa, the Eastern Europe, and the Middle East increased, those to Central and South America, Asia, and Oceania fell.