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Korea's automobile export value hits all-time high of $6.2 billion in April 2023-05-18

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) announced on May 16 that Korea’s automobile exports reached a total of USD 23.2 billion this year (January- April) with a trade surplus of $17.7 billion, making automobiles the largest contributor to improving Korea’s total trade balance. Export value for the month of April also hit an all-time high of $6.2 billion (up 40.3 percent year-on-year).

Automobile production, domestic sales and exports for April grew 24.7 percent to 382,265 units, 4.3 percent to 149,374 units and 25.3 percent to 247,399 units, respectively, year-on-year.

Domestic production rose by double digits as supply of automotive semiconductors and car parts normalized. Domestic sales and export also increased on the backs of production growth based on increasing standby demand, as well as internal and overseas demand.

Foreign models like Audi, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW showed decline in domestic sales (down 9.2 percent to 21,075 units), as demand for internal combustion engine vehicles decreased.

For eco-friendly cars, 44,934 units (up 13.3 percent) were sold inside Korea in April, taking up 30.1 percent of total domestic sales. Export of eco-friendly cars numbered 63,824 in units (up 33.7 percent) and amounted to $2.1 billion in value (up 55.8 percent).

By fuel type, electric vehicles (EVs) and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) soared 103.7 percent to $1.2 billion in export, and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) climbed 67.5 percent to $0.2 billion. Outbound shipments of hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) grew 9.9 percent to $0.7 billion.

By region, automobile shipments expanded to North America (up 52.9 percent), EU (up 29.0 percent), Asia (up 61.2 percent), Middle East (up 37.7 percent) and Latin America (up 16.7 percent), whereas those to Oceania (down 14.8 percent) and Africa (down 4.2 percent) contracted.