The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced on February 15 that Korea’s automobile output, domestic sales, and exports in January all experienced double-digit increases and went up 24.9 percent, 18.4 percent, and 29.5 percent, respectively.
Total automobile output in January by Korean automakers climbed up 24.9 percent to 314,190 units. Productions normalized after collective wage bargaining settlements were reached, and increases in domestic sales and exports led to an expansion in production.
Domestic sales in Korea advanced 18.4 percent to 137,692 vehicles. The extension of the deadline for a 30 percent cut in the consumption tax and two more working days in January led to the expansion. Sales of locally-produced cars saw a 16.9 percent growth to 115,375 units. Those of imported vehicles went up 27.3 percent to 22,317 units.
The number of green vehicles sold within Korea spiked 126.4 percent to 17,992 units. Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) jumped 128.6 percent to 15,883 units, and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) soared 484.5 percent to 1,654 units. Fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) also jumped 75.3 percent to 142 units. Domestic green car sales posted growth for 12 months in a row.
Outbound shipments of automobiles gained 29.5 percent to 192,322 units as economic activities resumed at major export destinations such as the United States and Europe. The export value increased at a greater percentage (up 40.2 percent to $4.0 billion) thanks to high value-added export products.
Green car exports expanded 76.5 percent to 32,035 units. Outbound shipments of eco-friendly cars achieved the highest export value (up 100.0 percent to $900 million) in history. Electric vehicles (EV) recorded growth for 42 straight months and moved up 57.5 percent to 9,571 units in January.
“Exports of auto parts totaled $1.8 billion, increasing 3.9 percent. Strong sales of Korea’s sport utility vehicles (SUVs) in the North American market contributed to the rise,” a ministry spokesman said.