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Green vehicles sold within Korea hit record high in December 2019 2020-01-16

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced on January 16 that eco-friendly and hybrid vehicles sold within Korea in December 2019 increased 23.3% to 15,262 units compared to a year earlier.

Automobile exports last month decreased by 6.7 percent year-on-year to 205,595 vehicles due to the need for overseas inventory exhaustion following the release of new K5 model and the adjustment of GM Korea export line. Although the number of vehicles shipped overseas went down, the increase in exports of sports utility vehicles (SUVs) and eco-friendly vehicles led the export value to inch up 0.3 percent.

The number of domestic vehicles produced by Korea's seven manufacturers went down 5.4 percent to 337,504 units. The decrease in December is attributable to the partial strike of Kia workers. Production of SUVs increased 10.5 percent on-year and contributed to turning the auto manufacturing industry high value-added. The seven domestic automakers are Hyundai Motor, Kia Motors, GM Korea, Ssangyong Motor, Renault Samsung Motors, Zyle Daewoo Bus, and Tata Daewoo.

Domestic sales of automobiles also climbed up 8.8 percent to 173,898 units, thanks to the new car models and a base effect. The number of environment-friendly cars sold in Korea amounted to 15,262 units, up 23.3 percent. Sales of hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) reached record high and went up 48.4% to 9,865 units. Fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) increased by 105.7 percent year-on-year thanks to the government-supported subsidies.

For year 2019, exports and production volume of automobiles slightly decreased while the export value inched up.

The number of vehicles manufactured in 2019 by the Korean automakers slipped 1.9 percent to 4.0 million vehicles mainly because of a decrease in consignment production of Rogue at Renault Samsung, a disruption in production caused by GM Korea strike, and adjustment of domestic production lines.

Car exports also declined 1.8 percent to 2.4 million units. In terms of value, they increased 5.3 percent due to favorable sales in relatively high-priced electric vehicles and SUVs. Outbound shipments of eco-friendly cars improved 31.7 percent to 258,669 vehicles, and the domestic sales went up 13.5 percent to 140,311 units, both at record highs.

Automobiles sales in Korea went down 1.9 percent to 1.8 million vehicles. This is attributable to the decrease in the sales of small sized sedans, lack of newly introduced cars by some manufacturers, and poor sales of imported vehicles. The domestic sales of locally produced cars improved thanks to the rise in demand of the SUVs. Meanwhile those of imported cars dropped 6.4 percent to 262,804 units.

By classification, the proportion of SUVs increased in auto exports while that of subcompact cars, full-sized cars, compact cars and mid-size cars decreased. In particular, SUV exports made up 63.8 percent of the total car exports, up 6.3% from the year before.

By region, exports to North America, East Europe, Africa, and Oceania increased while those to the EU, the Middle East, Central and South America, and Asia decreased.

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