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Korean exports of electric vehicles reach record high in May 2020-06-11

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced on June 11 that Korean exports of electric vehicles hit record high in May, reaching 11,496 units. Overall automobile exports and production, however, decreased due to the effects of COVID-19. Meanwhile, domestic sales posted a year-on-year growth.

The number of Korean vehicles produced by Korean automakers dropped 36.9 percent to 231,099 units. The decrease was attributable mainly to the production adjustment according to the slowdown in overseas demand, three fewer working days in May, and an inventory shortage of wiring harnesses resulting in the production disruption of Trailblazers.

Auto exports in May fell 57.6 percent to 95,400 units due to a plunge in global demand resulting from the coronavirus lockdowns. In terms of value, exports fell by a smaller percentage (down 54.1 percent), primarily as a result of the expansion in eco-friendly cars and sports utility vehicle (SUV) sales. Especially, the share of eco-friendly vehicle exports amounted to 22.5 percent, the highest in history.

Outbound shipments of eco-friendly cars last month gained 15.3 percent to 21,426 units. Growth in exports was led by electric vehicles (EVs), which spiked 151.2 percent to 11,496 units. EVs posted the 34th consecutive month of year-on-year export growth and achieved a record-high number of units sold overseas. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) also went up 16.0 percent to 3,133 units

Meanwhile, domestic sales in May improved 9.7 percent to 168,778 vehicles. Sales of locally produced cars gained 9.4 percent to 144,704 units, and those of imported vehicles advanced 11.5 percent to 24,074 units.

Local sales of green cars jumped 23.8 percent to 17,240 units on the back of strong sales of hybrid electric vehicles which jumped 60.3 percent to 13,889 units. In particular, HEVs produced by domestic automakers soared 82.3 percent to 10,950 units and reached the highest number of domestic sales in history.

Auto parts exports in May contracted 66.7 percent to $650 million as major overseas finished car factories have been shut down due to the coronavirus outbreak and normalizations have been delayed. Shipments to all major regions decreased.

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