The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced on December 12 that exports of automobiles grew 3.4 percent to $4.1 billion on strong sales of eco-friendly cars and large vehicles in November.
Meanwhile, production and domestic sales by number of vehicles contracted 8 percent and 1.2 percent, respectively.
Automobile exports by value climbed in November although the number of vehicles shipped abroad declined 8 percent to 237,083.
Korean carmakers exported more high-value vehicles such as eco-friendly vehicles and sports utility vehicles (SUVs). The number of electric vehicles (EVs) exported nearly tripled to 1,681 from 577. Outbound shipments of SUVs jumped 14.3 percent to around 129,000 units, and those of large-size vehicles soared 64.5 percent to some 10,000 units.
Exports by number of cars decreased as shipments to most markets except the European Union (EU), Oceania, and Africa weakened.
Domestic sales of automobiles inched down 1.2 percent to 166,339 units. Sales of vehicles manufactured in Korea contracted 2.6 percent to 139,592 units, while those of imported cars climbed 8.4 percent to 23,747. By type of vehicles, fewer small- and mid-sized cars were sold, while EV sales surged 48.7 percent to 2,038 units.
Five domestic automotive makers – Hyundai Motor, Kia Motors, GM Korea, Ssangyong Motor, and Renault Samsung Motors – together manufactured 382,034 vehicles, down 8 percent from a year ago when production increased. Shorter working hours in an automotive maker as well as slower sales at home and abroad also affected the production.
Sales of vehicles produced in Korean carmakers’ overseas plants fell by 16.8 percent to 385,547 units, and this led to a 10.8-percent decrease in outbound shipments of automobile parts to $2 billion.
Exports of parts to the U.S. and China where production slowed declined, while those to Europe, the Middle East, and Central and South America increased.
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