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Auto exports jump 28% in October on solid demand for eco-friendly cars

Vehicles for export are lined up at a dock inside the Hyundai Motor Group’s Ulsan plant. (HMG)
Vehicles for export are lined up at a dock inside the Hyundai Motor Group’s Ulsan plant. (HMG)

South Korea's car exports jumped 28.5 percent on-year last month on brisk demand for eco-friendly cars, data showed Friday.

The value of outbound shipments of automobiles came to $4.92 billion last month, the largest ever for any October, according to the data from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

In terms of volume, a total of 208,544 vehicles were sold last month, up 30.2 percent from the previous year, the data showed.

By region, exports to North America jumped 60.2 percent to $2.38 billion, and exports to the European Union also advanced 12.4 percent on-year to $743 million.

Exports to Asian nations surged 91.1 percent to $446 million, and sales in the Middle East and the Latin American nations also added 4.1 percent and 13 percent, respectively, according to the data.

The brisk sales were on the back of rising demand for eco-friendly vehicles.

The export value of eco-friendly cars climbed 27.1 percent on-year in October to $1.45 billion, marking the 22nd consecutive month of on-year growth.

It is also the second-largest monthly figure after July 2022 when the country sold $1.47 billion worth of eco-friendly vehicles, the data showed.

In terms of volume, a total of 52,279 eco-friendly units were sold last month, up 36.1 percent on-year.

Eco-friendly cars accounted for 25.1 percent of the country's total car exports in terms of volume, which marked the largest ever proportion, the ministry said.

Exports of auto parts also went up 3.1 percent on-year to $1.84 billion last month amid eased supplies of automotive semiconductors and the growth in demand for domestic vehicles, according to the data.

Domestic demand and production marked on-year growth for three months in a row.

Domestic production grew 24.2 percent on-year to 327,486 units last month on a low base effect and the eased shortage of automotive semiconductors.

Of major firms, production by Hyundai Motor Co. and its affiliate Kia Corp. grew 11.7 percent and 19.6 percent, respectively.

Domestic sales of automobiles rose 15.2 percent on-year to 144,363 units in October.

The number of eco-friendly cars sold at home climbed 16 percent on-year to 39,612 units.

During the first 10 months of this year, around 365,000 units were sold, already larger than the total sales for the whole of 2021, the data showed.

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