The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced on June 13 that exports of automobiles rose by 3.6 percent to $3.5 billion in May on strong sales of eco-friendly vehicles, marking the fourth consecutive month of growth.
The number of vehicles shipped abroad increased 2.1 percent year-on-year to 221,237 in the meantime. The value of automobile exports grew at a faster pace on strong sales of eco-friendly cars and small-size sports utility vehicles.
An average price of an exported vehicle increased 6.7 percent to $15,047 in the first four month this year from the same period of 2016. The number of eco-friendly car shipped abroad soared more than sevenfold during the same period.
Automobile exports to all regions except North America and Asia expanded with double-digit growths in shipments to the European Union (EU), non-EU countries in Europe, Central and South America, Oceania, and Africa.
Domestic production and sales of automobiles declined as there were fewer working days in May this year.
Five domestic automotive makers, Hyundai Motor, Kia Motors, GM Korea, SsangYong Motor, and Renault Samsung Motors, together produced 356,204 vehicles -- 1.5 percent down from a year earlier.
Domestic sales contracted 6.3 percent to 155,735 cars. The number of vehicles manufactured and sold in Korea dropped 7.3 percent to 134,263 as consumers wait for new vehicle launches. The sales of imported cars inched up 0.2 percent to 21,472 units due to fewer working days despite robust sales of certain brands.
Exports of automobile parts declined 12.4 percent to $1.9 billion as production at Korean automotive makers’ overseas plants slowed down. Exports to the U.S. and Asia where the sales of automobiles contracted shrank, while shipments to other regions including the EU and the Middle East jumped at double-digit rates.
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