South Korea’s automobile exports are expected to tally below 2 million units this year for the first time in 16 years amid global slump from yearlong pandemic crisis.
Total outbound shipment by Korea-based finished carmakers came to 1,714,702 units as of November, down 21.9 percent from a year-ago period, according to data released by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy on Sunday.
Given the 190,000 to 200,000 monthly average, the annual count could be lowest in nearly 20 years.
Korean carmakers shipped 2,379,563 units in 2004, breaking the 2 million-unit milestone for the first time. Outbound shipments reached 2,148,862 units in 2009 despite the global financial meltdown and achieved the 3 million milestone in 2011. Last year, carmakers exported total 2,401,382 units.
Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors shipped 1,454,938 cars from January to November, down 19.7 percent from a year earlier. GM Korea exported 321,736 units up to November this year, losing 15 percent from the same period a year ago. Renault Samsung Motors saw a 77 percent plunge after shipping 19,222 units during the period, and SsangYong Motor a 30.7 percent drop with exports of 17,386 units.
Korean carmakers have been expanding focus on the home front to offset overseas slump. On the back of various promotional perks, tax benefits and new releases, domestic sales gained 6.1 percent on year to total 1,477,971 units as of November.
By Seo Dong-cheol and Lee Ha-yeon
[? Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]