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Korea's May automobile exports gain 18.9% in value 2022-06-16

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced on June 15 that Korea’s May automobile output recorded a growth of 19.8 percent, while exports in units and value recorded growths of 19.1 percent and 18.9 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, domestic sales contracted 4.1 percent.

The number of vehicles produced by Korean automakers went up 19.8 percent to 307,048 units. The growth in automobile production was mostly attributable to a base effect from semiconductors shortage, as well as higher number of operating days (+1 day) compared to same period of last year.

Exports posted double-digit growth in both units (up 19.1 percent to 182,869 units) and value (up 18.9 percent to USD 4.2 billion) for the first time in a year, made possible by increased production volumes of major auto makers. By unit, higher production levels and base effect from shortage of automobile semiconductors helped generate exports growth. Those with high exports ratio, like compact cars (20.1 percent) and SUVs (70.0 percent) had positive impact on units’ growth. By value, robust exports of eco-friendly cars greatly contributed to overall growth.

Eco-friendly cars grew 45.3 percent in domestic sales of units (41,003 units), breaking the record for the 3rd consecutive month and also making May the first month to surpass 40,000 units.

By fuel type, all eco-friendly car types increased in domestic sales except for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). Sales of electric vehicles (EVs) marked an unprecedented 14,392 units (up 60.6 percent), while hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) and fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) ranked 2nd, selling 24,450 units (up 48.6 percent) and 1,270 units (up 68.0 percent) each.

In particular, homegrown brands’ domestic sales shot up by 92.1 percent (30,197 units), whereas imported brands suffered a 13.5 percent shrinkage (10,806 units) in sales.

Exports of eco-friendly cars grew 45.1 percent by unit to 44,854 vehicles, and 46.1 percent in value to $1.3 billion, both posting positive growth for 17 consecutive months and making May exports come in 2nd out of all eco-friendly car exports. Eco-friendly cars take up 25.8 percent and 30.7 percent of total May automobiles exports by unit and value, respectively.

By region, automobile exports rose for Eastern Europe (up 20.6 percent to $264 million), Africa (up 10.3 percent to $39 million) and Asia (up 4.2 percent to 310 units)

Car parts exports fell across most regions, but overall exports rose 7.6 percent to nearly $2.0 billion as the U.S. market showed strong demand for finished Korean cars.