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Korean auto exports dip in April, domestic sales increase 2020-05-18

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced on May 16 that Korea’s automobile production and exports decreased due to stagnant global demand, but domestic sales increased in April.

The number of Korean vehicles produced by Korean automakers fell 22.2 percent to 289,515 units. The decrease was attributable mainly to fewer working days in April and contraction in overseas sales demand.

Over the same period, the number of vehicles exported in April dropped 44.3 percent and recorded 123,906 units due to a plunge in global demand resulting from the coronavirus lockdowns. In terms of value, exports fell by a smaller percentage (down 36.3 percent), primarily as a result of strong eco-friendly cars and sports utility vehicle (SUV) sales. Especially, the export share of eco-friendly vehicles amounted to 17.9 percent, the highest in history.

Outbound shipments of eco-friendly cars last month gained 11.5 percent to 22,235 units. Growth in exports was led by electric vehicles (EVs), which jumped 94.6 percent to 9,761 units. Fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) also went up 18.4 percent to 122 units.

Meanwhile, domestic sales in April advanced 8.0 percent to 167,375 vehicles. Sales of locally produced cars gained 6.4 percent to 144,230 units, and those of imported vehicles jumped 18.7 percent to 23,145 units.

Local sales of green cars jumped 28.3 percent to 16,869 units on the back of strong sales of FCEVs (up 119.0 percent to 795 units), hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs, up 50.5 percent to 12,871 units), and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs, up 110.4 percent to 585 units).

For auto parts, exports in April contracted 49.6 percent to $1.0 billion as major overseas finished car factories have been shut down due to the coronavirus outbreak. Shipments to all major regions decreased.


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