South Korea’s automobile exports to Eastern Europe rose sharply in the first three months of this year thanks to an economic recovery in the region, a local automobile association said Wednesday.
During the January-March period, South Korean car makers’ auto exports to Eastern Europe, including Russia, reached 72,393 units, compared with 37,670 units a year earlier, according to the Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association.
“The 2008 financial crisis reduced demand for automobiles in the Eastern European region, but an economic recovery in the region this year increased South Korean car makers’ shipments there,” said an official at the association.
The largest exporter to Eastern Europe among the local car manufacturers was Kia Motors Corp., a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Group, which shipped 30,297 units in the first quarter, up 95 percent form a year earlier.
South Korea’s biggest car maker, Hyundai Motor, saw shipments to the region rise 26.4 percent to 10,979 units, and GM Daewoo Auto & Technology Co. exported 22,040 units, up 108 percent from a year earlier, according to the association.
Shipments of Renault Samsung Motors Co., the South Korean unit of French automaker Renault SA, increased 61 percent to 3,106 units.
Exports of Ssangyong Motor Co., the country’s smallest car maker, rose more than seven-fold to 5,922 units, the association said.
Russia was the biggest importer of South Korean automobiles during the period with 59,165 units. Russia was followed by Ukraine with 5,462 units and Azerbaijan with 2,459 units.