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Trends and Outlook of Korea’s Auto Industry

 Reaching a production capacity of 3.95 million in 2019, Korea has become the world’s seventh largest automobile producer, following China, Japan, the U.S., Germany, India and Mexico. While the country’s gross manufacturing output has been on a decline recently, there are a few changes in the market that are worth noting on the path towards future transportation.

 Korean car makers, developing highly exclusive and sophisticated products

First, auto manufacturers in Korea are designing products which are more exclusive, distinctive and sophisticated.

With the success of its premium sedan, the Genesis, in the market, Hyundai Motor Group continues to release new G-series lineups: G70, G80, G90 and GV80. Plus, the market share of domestic consumption for sport utility vehicles (SUVs) has soared to 44.6 percent, on the back of a strong demand for SUVs.

Second, the use of high-quality, high value-added components in the assembly line has boosted the average export prices for passenger cars which surpassed USD 16,000 in 2019 for the first time.

Third, consumers’ desire for greener, more sustainable cars has increased the share of electric vehicles (EVs) to 8 percent and 11 percent in the domestic and export markets, respectively.
Hyundai Motor Group is posed to make an agile and adaptive response to the future of mobility. In an attempt to gain a solid foothold in the market for plug-in cars in the EU, the company invested in Rimac Automobili, a high-performance fuel cell EV maker in Croatia in May 2019, while signing a deal to partner with IONITY GmbH, a joint venture established to form the largest fast EV charging networks across Europe by global automakers like BMW Group, Daimler AG Ford Motor Company, and Volkswagen Group with Porsche AG.

 Korean government's plan to support development and implementation of autonomous, EV technology


By Junkyu Kim(

Director, Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association

< *The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the views of KOTRA. >

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