South Korea’s automobile output and shipments at home and abroad all gained by double digits in January in the biggest growth in multiple years.
According to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy on Monday, Korea exported total 192,322 vehicles last month, up 29.5 percent from a year earlier as demand recovered sharply in most major markets.
Shipments to North America jumped 40.2 percent on year, European Union 71.7 percent, East Europe 54.9 percent, Oceania 64.8 percent and Asia 42 percent, while exports to the Middle East fell 42.9 percent.
Sport utility vehicle exports expanded by 37.7 percent, taking up 71.7 percent of all exports.
With strong demand for high value-added vehicles, exports turnover soared 40.2 percent on year to total $4 billion at the fastest pace since September 2017.
“Hyundai Palisade exports surged 75.2 percent, and outbound shipments of Hyundai Santa Fe and Genesis GV80 started picking up,” said an official from the trade ministry.
Domestic sales in Korea gained 18.4 percent on year to total 137,692 units last month amid warm response to new releases like Hyundai Grandeur sedan, Hyundai Tucson SUV and Kia Carnival minivan, as well as extended tax benefits on new car purchases.
Top five best-selling models were all Korean brands.
Buoyed by increased demand at home and abroad, automobile output from Korea totaled 314,190 units in January, gaining the largest 24.9 percent on year since October 2018.
Green car sales at home reached 17,992 units, adding 126.4 percent on year and extending the winning streak for 12 consecutive months. Exports expanded 76.5 percent to 32,035 units, and value in exports jumped to record-high $900 million. The ratio of green cars against the entire car exports rose to 25 percent.
Domestic sales of electric vehicles dropped 50.6 percent but outbound shipments increased 57.7 percent.
Auto parts shipments to overseas added 3.9 percent to $1.81 billion, extending gains for three months in a row amid a rise in SUV sales in North America.
By Lee Ha-yeon
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