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Domestic car sales return to growth in September 2019-10-21

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced on October 17 that automobile sales in Korea rose 4.1 percent year-on-year to 133,016 vehicles in September following seven consecutive monthly decreases.
Domestic sales of Korean-made cars inched up 1.0 percent to 110,465 units, and those of imported cars improved 22.5 percent to 22,551 units despite a decline in Japanese car sales (down 59.8 percent). Domestic sales of environmentally friendly cars also gained 10.3 percent to 9,656 units. Local demand for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) grew, but that for electric vehicles (EVs) slowed down.

Meanwhile, automobile output last month amounted to 277,990 units, down 4.8 percent. A strike at one of the local automakers partly contributed to the decrease in total production. The local auto manufacturers are Hyundai Motor, Kia Motors, GM Korea, Ssangyong Motor, Renault Samsung Motors, Zyle Daewoo Bus, and Tata Daewoo.

Auto exports slipped 4.8 percent to 171,425 vehicles from a year earlier. In value terms, however, exports rose 4.0 percent to USD 3.1 billion thanks to growing popularity of sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and eco-friendly cars. Specifically, green car exports jumped 82.7 percent to 24,808 units with all four types of environmentally friendly cars experiencing a rise in shipments.

Shipments of auto parts climbed up 2.1 percent to $1.8 billion despite falling exports to the EU and China. Increases were seen in exports to North America (up 9.8 percent to $692 million), Eastern Europe (up 8.8 percent to $182 million), Africa (up 33.4 percent to $19 million), and Oceania (up 18.1 percent to $10 million). Meanwhile, decreases were experienced in exports to the following destinations: the EU (down 6.9 percent to $316 million), the Middle East (down 4.3 percent to $82 million), Central and South America (down 5.5 percent to $72 million), and Asia (down 3.9 percent to $418 million).

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