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S. Korea's auto exports up 2.5 pct in first half

According to Yonhap News,

(SEJONG=Yonhap News) South Korea's automobile exports rose 2.5 percent in the first half of 2019 from a year earlier on robust demand for eco-friendly cars and sport utility vehicles, government data showed Tuesday.

The country's five passenger carmakers -- Hyundai Motor Co., Kia Motors Corp., GM Korea Co., Renault Samsung Motors Corp. and SsangYong Motor Co. -- and two commercial carmakers -- Tata Daewoo and Zyle Daewoo -- shipped a combined 1.25 million vehicles in the first six months, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said in a statement.

In terms of value, vehicle exports increased 7 percent on-year to US$21.69 billion, according to the data.

The strong result was helped by robust sales of lower-emission vehicles and competitive SUV models in global markets, though demand in China remained weak in the first half.

Total sales of passenger and commercial vehicles in China fell 12.4 percent in the first half from a year earlier, while those of passenger cars in the U.S edged down 1.9 percent due to weak consumer demand amid protracted trade frictions between the U.S. and China.

By region, shipments to North America moved up 21.3 percent on-year to $9.47 billion in the first half, with Asian countries accounting for $1.25 billion, up 22.1 percent.

Meanwhile, exports to the European Union totaled $4.45 billion, down 0.9 percent over the cited period. Shipments to the Middle East plunged 20.9 percent to $1.74 billion in the January-June period from a year earlier.

South Korea's auto production edged up 1.2 percent on-year to reach 2.03 million units in the first half, helped by the launches of Hyundai's flagship Palisade SUV and new SUV models from other carmakers.

In terms of domestic sales, the figure decreased 3.7 percent to 867,380 units over the cited period.

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Source: Yonhap News (July 16, 2019)

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