According to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, Korea’s automobile production for October this year decreased by 14.3 percent from a year earlier to 364,680 units. The reduction is due mainly to the strike in Kia Motors, Chevrolet’s plan for withdrawal from the European market, and decreased exports attributable to emerging market uncertainties. The monthly exports fell by 13.9 percent to 240,860 units during the same period owing to the weak yen and a recession in the East European market.
In the domestic market, Korean automakers’ sales volume dropped by 1.4 percent from the previous year, despite their release of new models. Meanwhile, imported cars’ popularity went up to increase the overall domestic sell-through by 1.5 percent to 138,683 units.
Kia Motors’ monthly production dropped 22.9 percent due to its partial strike while Hyundai Motor Company’s decreased by 8.9 percent owing to the base effect from last year. GM Korea’s output declined by 24.7 percent year-on-year, as the withdrawal plan resulted in a supply cut. The economic recession in the East European market and Ukrainian crisis dragged down Ssangyong Motors’ production by 15.9 percent.
The monthly exports fell for all automakers except Renault Samsung Motors, which shipped out a large quantity of the Rogue. Renault Samsung’s production volume surged 60.6 percent thanks to the popularity of the QM5 and consignment production of the Nissan Rogue. The company recorded an export increase of 98.1 percent.
In contrast, Kia Motors’ exports dropped by 21.3 percent from a year ago. Hyundai Motor Company’s exports increased significantly when compared to the previous month, but decreased by 8.1 percent year-on-year. Those of GM Korea and Ssangyong Motor declined by 26.4 percent and 26.1 percent, respectively.
The imported car sales in Korea, in the meantime, rose by 26.8 percent month-on-month to reach 16,436 units in October. They accounted for 15.3 percent of the domestic market, with German brands’ combined market share amounting to 66.3 percent.