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S. Korea's auto exports drop 18.4 pct in Sept.

2018/10/12 11:00

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SEOUL, Oct. 12 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's auto exports dipped in September from a year earlier on fewer working days and sluggish sales in major markets, government data showed Friday.

Total exports reached 183,964 units worth US$2.97 billion last month, down 18.4 percent compared with the previous year, according to the data compiled by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

Shipments to North America, one of South Korea's main auto markets, sank 14 percent on-year to $1.2 billion, and sales in the European Union, the second-largest market, tumbled 32.7 percent to $542 million.

Exports to the Middle East and Latin America also retreated 44 percent and 22.4 percent, respectively, over the period.

There were only 19.5 working days in September this year due to the Chuseok holiday falling from Sept. 24-26, resulting in four fewer days compared with a year ago.

This file photo taken on March 26, 2018, shows Hyundai Motor cars waiting to be shipped at a pier in the southeastern industrial city of Ulsan. (Yonhap) This file photo taken on March 26, 2018, shows Hyundai Motor cars waiting to be shipped at a pier in the southeastern industrial city of Ulsan. (Yonhap)

Industry leader Hyundai Motor Co.'s overseas sales inched down just 0.8 percent despite fewer working days on the back of robust sales of compact sports utility vehicles (SUV).

Kia Motors Corp., the nation's second-largest automaker, saw its exports decrease a solid 28.1 percent due to weak demand for its SUVs and compact crossovers.

GM Korea Co., the South Korean unit of General Motors Co., posted a 11.9 percent drop in exports as it halted production of some models following its factory closure in May.

The number of cars produced in the nation also backtracked 8.2 percent on-year to 291,971 in September, and exports of auto parts slipped 18.2 percent to $1.76 billion, in line with the lackluster auto exports.

Domestic sales of vehicles shed 17.3 percent to 127,753 units last month, the ministry said.

Sales of locally produced cars dropped 17.6 percent to 109,786 units, while those of foreign brands lost 15.5 percent to 17,967 units.

ejkim@yna.co.kr

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