[THE INVESTOR] Korea’s auto exports dipped in September from a year earlier on fewer working days and sluggish sales in major markets, government data showed on Oct. 12.
Total exports reached 183,964 units worth US$2.97 billion last month, down 18.4 percent compared with the previous year, according to the data compiled by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
Shipments to North America, one of Korea’s main auto markets, sank 14 percent on-year to US$1.2 billion, and sales in the European Union, the second-largest market, tumbled 32.7 percent to US$542 million.
Exports to the Middle East and Latin America also retreated 44 percent and 22.4 percent, respectively, over the period.
Industry leader Hyundai Motor’s overseas sales inched down just 0.8 percent despite fewer working days on the back of robust sales of compact sports utility vehicles.
Kia Motors saw its exports decrease a solid 28.1 percent due to weak demand for its SUVs and compact crossovers.
GM Korea posted an 11.9 percent drop in exports as it halted production of some models following its factory closure in May.
The number of cars produced in the nation also backtracked 8.2 percent on-year to 291,971 in September, and exports of auto parts slipped 18.2 percent to US$1.76 billion, in line with the lackluster auto exports.
Domestic sales of vehicles shed 17.3 percent to 127,753 units last month, the ministry said.
Sales of locally produced cars dropped 17.6 percent to 109,786 units, while those of foreign brands lost 15.5 percent to 17,967 units.
By Song Seung-hyun and newswires (firstname.lastname@example.org)