Despite the expansion of the domestic car market, Korea’s automobile industry reported a decline in both output and exports due to the slump of the emerging economies.
According to a report on the automobile industry for the first half of this year, released by the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy on July 6, domestic car sales stood at 857,169 units in the first half of this year, up 6.2 percent from a year ago.
During this period, the sales of domestically made vehicles rose 3.4 percent year on year to 727,155 units, thanks to the strong popularity of multi-purpose vehicles such as SUVs and minivans. The sales of import cars reached 130,014 units in the January-June period of this year, with the share of import cars in total domestic car sales rising to 15.2 percent.
The nation’s automobile output, in contrast, fell 0.9 percent year on year to 2,321,840 units mainly due to the economic slowdown of the emerging markets. The nation’s automobile exports also fell 3.0 percent year on year to 1,551,981 units, negatively affected by the recession of the emerging markets and the deterioration in price competitiveness resulting from the depreciation of the yen and euro currencies.