Korea’s automobile exports moved up 12.6 percent on-year in January on the back of strong demand for SUVs and environment friendly cars in North America and Europe, the Industry Ministry said on Feb. 19.
According to the ministry, automakers here shipped 213,618 cars overseas last month, with the value estimated at US$3.67 billion. The North American market accounted for US$1.5 billion, up 19.6 percent on-year, followed by the European Union with US$820 million, up 20.4 percent.
The Asian market accounted for US$207 million in January, rising 45.8 percent on-year, with the shipment to the African and Oceanian markets also rising 23.2 percent and 8.9 percent, respectively.
By company, Korea’s top carmaker Hyundai Motor saw its export units rise a solid 14.8 percent, with Kia Motors posting a 32.5 percent surge over the cited period.
GM Korea and SsangYong Motor, on the other hand, saw their vehicle exports fall 2.3 percent and 13 percent, respectively, on-year in the month. Numbers for Renault Samsung Motors nose-dived 44.8 percent on the sluggish sales of the Nissan Rogue SUV.
Korea’s production of new cars in the month moved up 9.8 percent on-year to reach 354,305 units, as carmakers expanded their production ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday, which fell in February.
In terms of domestic sales, the figure edged up 1.5 percent on-year to reach 136,157 units on the back of expanded sales of SUVs. Domestically produced models accounted for 117,456 units, up 4.7 percent over the period.
Local sales of imported cars, on the other hand, fell 14.9 percent to reach 18,701 units.
By Ram Garikipati and newswires (email@example.com)