The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced on Aug. 15 that domestic automobile production was tentatively estimated at 359,554 units in July, up 17.4 percent from a year ago.
Car exports were up 11.6 percent as Korean automakers sold 215,927 units abroad thanks to strong sales of green cars in North America and the European Union.
Both automobile production and exports posted the highest spike in 2019.
In monetary terms, vehicle exports recorded US$3,800,020,000 in July, a 21.6 percent increase on year. By region, North America and the EU posted US$1.71 billion, a 23.2 percent increase, and US$740 million, up 37.8 percent, respectively.
Domestic sales were sluggish compared to production and exports. Sales of homemade vehicles totaled 129,463 units, down 2.0 percent, while imported cars sold 21,616 units, down 4.8 percent. Total car sales in Korea fell 2.4 percent to 151,091 units.
In particular, Japanese car brands suffered a slump, selling 2,674 units, down 32.2 percent from 3,946 units in June. Compared to a year ago, their sales slid by 17.2 percent.
As for eco-friendly cars, they sold 12,421 units, up 23.0 percent from the same month of last year, while exports were 25,063 units, an all-time monthly high, up 102.3 percent from a year ago. As a result, eco-friendly cars accounted for 9.7 percent of total domestic passenger car sales, up from 7.9 percent last year.
In July, auto parts exports to North, Central and South America including the United States, went up by 1.9 percent on year to US$2.06 billion.