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Automobile exports in April jump 52.8% despite global automotive semiconductor shortage 2021-05-14

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced on May 14 that Korea’s automobile output and exports in April rose 11.8 percent and 52.8 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, domestic sales shrank 3.8 percent.

Total output by Korea’s automobile industry in April went up 11.8 percent to 323,644 units despite the global automotive semiconductor shortage.

Domestic sales edged down 3.8 percent to 161,097 units, which was partly attributable to the decrease in the special consumption tax cuts from 70 percent to 30 percent. Sales of locally-produced cars lost 6.3 percent to 135,146 units because of disruptions in the parts supply. Those of imported vehicles gained 12.1 percent to 25,951 units.

Environment-friendly cars sold in Korea expanded 41.3 percent to 25,269 units and went up for 15 straight months. Fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) exceeded 1,000 units in domestic sales for the first time and jumped 59.1 percent to 1,265 units. Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), electric vehicles (EVs), and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) also advanced 38.9 percent to 17,879 units, 18.8 percent to 4,314 units, and 209.6 percent to 1,811 units, respectively.

Exports of automobiles in April posted a year-on-year increase of 52.8 percent to 188,293 units, and the export value spiked 73.4 percent to $4.2 billion on the back of high value-added new car products such as the GV 70. EVs also contributed to the growth in exports.

Outbound shipments of green cars grew 44.4 percent to 32,838 units and took up 18.0 percent of total exports. The export value went up by a greater percentage (up 60.2 percent). The following types of green cars recorded double-digit increases: HEVs (up 65.4 percent to 16,225 units), EVs (up 17.6 percent to 12,172 unit), and PHEVs (up 76.4 percent to 4,322 units). FCEVs went down 2.5 percent to 119 units.

Auto parts shipped overseas soared 99.9 percent to $2.0 billion on the back of continued preference for Korean finished cars and new car launches by Korean firms including the Sportage and the Tucson.

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