South Korea’s car exports reached a record high in March, fueled by strong overseas demand for small-sized vehicles and sport utility vehicles, a government report showed Monday.
Overseas vehicle shipments surged 18.1 percent on-year to 305,257 units last month, with total domestic production moving up 6.3 percent to 420,759 vehicles, according to the report by the Ministry of Knowledge Economy.
The ministry said overseas sales were bolstered by 30.4 percent increase in small-sized cars and 17.4 percent jump in the shipments of SUVs.
The 8.3 percent on-year increase in average sales prices for locally-made cars contributed to solid gains, it said, adding the average price for a South Korean-made car hit an estimated $14,300 per vehicle from $13,208 a year earlier.
Despite the jump in exports, domestic sales contracted 8.9 percent on-year to 131,510 units last month.
In the first three months of this year, exports shot up 20.3 percent to 851,571 units with total production gaining 8.7 percent to more than 1.17 million vehicles. Domestic sales contracted 7.2 percent, although local sales of imported cars gained 13.9 percent, according to the report. (Yonhap News)