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Korea's automobile output, exports fall in October, domestic sales increase 2020-11-16

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced on November 16 that Korea’s automobile output and exports in October lost 4.3 percent and 3.2 percent, respectively. However, domestic sales inched up 1.7 percent despite fewer working days.

The number of vehicles produced by Korean automakers dipped 4.3 percent to 336,279. The primary reasons for the decrease were the labor-management conflict at GM Korea and fewer working days (down 2 days) due to Chuseok holidays.

Domestic sales went up 1.7 percent to 160,151 vehicles. Sales of locally-produced cars saw a 1.2 percent growth to 134,440 units due to a strong demand for new car models of Carnival, Avante, Sorento, etc. Those of imported vehicles went up 4.1 percent to 25,711 units due to a recovery in German brands.

The number of green vehicles sold in Korea leaped 77.5 percent to 21,150 units. All types of green cars jumped in sales: hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs, up 80.9 percent to 15,957 units), electric vehicles (EVs, up 51.6 percent to 3,596 units), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs, up 762.2 percent to 957 units), and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs, up 5.3 percent to 640 units).

Outbound shipments of automobiles moved down 3.2 percent to 200,666 units due to fewer working days in October. However, the average daily exports increased 7.0 percent to 10,561 vehicles. The export value also rose 5.8 percent to $4.0 billion due to robust sales of sports utility vehicles (SUVs) and green cars.

Exports of eco-friendly cars gained 30.1 percent to 30,110 units. Especially, EV exports expanded 51.7 percent to 13,267 units due to strong sales of Kona EVs (up 46.4 percent to 5,641 units) and Niro EVs (up 240.7 percent to 5,560 units). HEVs also rose 36.3 percent to 14,879 units.

Outbound shipments of auto parts totaled $1.8 billion, falling 9.3 percent. Chinese holidays and an increasing number of new COVID-19 cases in Europe led to the contraction.

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