[Photo by MK DB]
South Korea’s automobile output, exports and domestic sales all grew in August against a year ago for the first time in 19 months, data showed.
According to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy on Friday, Korea exported total 168,155 cars worth $4.12 billion in August, gaining 29.1 percent in number and 35.9 percent in sum from the previous year, thanks to strong demand for eco-friendly vehicles from overseas. It marked the biggest for the month by value.
Exports to North America jumped 66.8 percent on year to $2.03 billion worth, contributing much to the growth.
Automobile output from Korea in August was estimated at 284,361 units, adding 21 percent from a year earlier on an ease in chip supplies. In August last year, carmakers struggled under automotive chip shortages and factory shutdown due to resurging Covid-19 cases in Southeast Asia.
All five Korea-based finished carmakers reported a double-digit output growth last month.
The country’s largest automaker Hyundai Motor Co. saw its total output rise 17.1 percent on year to 124,426 units, and its affiliate Kia Corp. up 15.5 percent to 111,853 units. GM Korea Co.’s output jumped 43.3 percent to 20,386 units, Renault Korea Motors Co. up 57.1 percent to 15,782 units, and SsangYong Motor Co. up 62.7 percent to 11,176 units.
Auto sales in Korea climbed 1 percent on year to 131,638 units in August after 19 months of loss. Domestic car sales fell 1 percent to 104,593 units but imported car sales grew 9.1 percent to 27,045 units after a year-long decrease since August last year. U.S. electric vehicle giant Tesla sold 4,635 units in Korea, adding 66.4 percent on year.
Eco-friendly car sales at home rose 9.7 percent to 35,227 units and exports up 47 percent to 40,215 units. Both marked the biggest for the month. Exports by value also soared 45.7 percent to total $1.22 billion, extending its growth streak for 20 consecutive months.
Exports of hybrids were up 62.8 percent to 21,531 units, EVs 32 percent to 15,262 units, and plug-in hybrids 34 percent. Outbound shipments of hydrogen vehicles only were down 37 percent.
Of the total automobile exports, green cars accounted for 23.9 percent in number and 29.6 percent in value. The majority were shipped to the United States. Green car exports to the U.S. more than doubled to total $140 million worth in August. Hyundai Motor and Kia’s market share in the U.S. rose 0.7 percentage point to a combined 10.7 percent in the first eight months.
By Lee Ha-yeon
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]