South Korea’s car exports dipped more than 20 percent last month, ending an eight-month streak of on-year growth, amid sustained global chip shortage and fewer working days due to the Chuseok holiday, data showed Friday.
Outbound shipments by Korean finished carmakers came to $3.56 billion in value, or 151,689 units in September, down 6.1 percent and 20.7 percent, respectively, from a year earlier according to the data released from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
The country’s car exports had extended gains for eight months in a row, but the growth streak came to an end last month owing to the ongoing automotive chip shortages and fewer working days due to the five-day Chuseok holiday in mid-September, the ministry explained.
Eco-friendly vehicle exports, meanwhile, reached a record high last month, topping the $1 billion-mark for the first time on robust demand for green cars. The country sold a total of 34,823 units of green cars worth $1.04 billion, up 31.3 percent and 46.8 percent on year, respectively.
Overseas sales of electric cars also reached a record high of 13,889 units, up 12.4 percent from the previous year and plug-in hybrid and hybrid models also surged 163.9 percent and 34.6 percent to 3,982 units and 16,932 units, respectively. The rise is attributed to robust global demand for Hyundai Motor’s IONIQ5 all-electric model and Kia’s EV6.
Domestic auto output dropped 33.1 percent on year to 229,423 units as factories have cut production due to the deepening chip supply bottlenecks.
Car sales at home also declined 29.7 percent to 113,932 units. Sales of Korean cars fell 33.8 percent and imported car sales dipped 7 percent, making the first decrease this year.
The cumulative car output from January to August, meanwhile, reached 2.35 million units, ranking fifth in the global market.
Outbound shipments of automobile parts came to $1.85 billion, off 5.1 percent on year due to reduced production at overseas factories.
By Lee Soo-min
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