The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced on August 10 that Korea’s automotive industry posted growth in exports as well as domestic production and sales.
Exports rose by 5.1 percent to 228,229 vehicles in July from a year ago on strong sales in Europe. Shipments of automobiles to the European Union surged 26.3 percent to $653 million, and those to the rest of Europe jumped 20.6 percent to $213 million.
Five domestic automotive makers, Hyundai Motor, Kia Motors, GM Korea, Ssangyong Motor, and Renault Samsung Motors, produced a total of 371,343 vehicles in July -- up 3.1 percent from a year earlier when the labor union of Hyundai Motor staged a five-day strike.
Domestic car sales expanded 8.1 percent to 149,149 units thanks to the launches of new vehicles. The sales of vehicles produced in Korea grew 7.3 percent to 129,622 units, while imported car sales increased 12.6 percent to 19,527 units.
It should be noted that domestic sales decreased in July last year because a temporary cut on the consumption tax rate for automobiles from 5 percent to 3.5 percent was terminated on June 30.
Between January and July, the total automobile production inched down 0.9 percent to 2,533,891 cars from the same period of 2016. Domestic sales shrank 1.9 percent to 1,052,598 units during the same period, while exports contracted 0.2 percent to 1,549,619.
Exports of automobile parts shrank 13.3 percent year-on-year to $1.9 billion in July as Korean carmakers’ plants in the U.S. and China produced fewer cars.
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