Korean auto exports rise 2.4 percent year-on-year in Q1

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced on April 17 that Korea's automobile exports in the first quarter increased 2.4 percent compared to the same period year earlier.

The number of Korean vehicles exported from January to March amounted to 587,690 units. In terms of value, exports rose 4.7 percent to USD 10.3 billion. This expansion is primarily a result of robust demand for eco-friendly cars, sports utility vehicles (SUVs), and compact cars.

Over the same period, the number of vehicles produced by Korean automakers decreased 0.8 percent to 954,908 units. The local carmakers are Hyundai Motor, Kia Motors, GM Korea, Ssangyong Motor, Renault Samsung Motors, Zyle Daewoo Bus, and Tata Daewoo. Partial strikes at some of the manufacturers contributed to the decrease in output.

Domestic sales in the first three months also declined 3.0 percent to 413,701 vehicles. While sales of locally produced cars inched up 0.6 percent to 358,531 units, those of imported vehicles dropped 21.4 percent to 55,170 units.

For March alone, the auto industry's exports, production, and domestic sales all saw decreases.

Auto exports in March slipped 3.3 percent year-on-year to 213,736 vehicles because of fewer working days and partial strikes. For similar reasons, the output contracted 5.5 percent to 343,327 units, and local sales fell 5.7 percent to 156,927 units.

Meanwhile, outbound shipments of eco-friendly cars last month edged up 0.3 percent to 19,392 units. Exports of hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) slowed down, but those of electric vehicles (EVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) improved. Local sales of green cars jumped 45.9 percent to 13,713 units on the back of subsidies for clean vehicle purchasers.

For auto parts, exports in March slipped 0.8 percent to $1.9 billion. While shipments to Asia and East Europe increased, those to North America and the EU decreased.

Source: Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy

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