S Korea's automobile production, exports and sales decrease in January

South Korea's automobile production, exports and sales all decreased last month due to suspension of operation at some factories and global automotive chip shortages.
Representative Image (Image Credit: ANI)
Representative Image (Image Credit: ANI)

Seoul

However, exports exceed $4 billion for three consecutive months with strong sales of eco-friendly vehicles. According to the 'Automobile Industry Trends in January 2022' report released by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy on the 15th, automobile production last month was amounted to 271,054 units, down 13.7% year-on-year. 
The decrease of production was affected by the suspension of operation at Hyundai Motor's Asan plant, GM Korea's Changwon plant, and Bupyeong plant to build production facilities for new cars. 
The Ministry of Industry said, "It is analyzed that the production decline was highly affected by Hyundai Motor and GM Korea's factory shutdown, which account for about 53.3% of total domestic automobile production.
" By company, Hyundai and Kia produced 119,621 units and 115,941 units, down 16.7% and 0.5% year-on-year, respectively. 
GM Korea and Ssangyong Motor produced 13,130 and 7,561 units, down 65.0% and 21.7%, respectively. On the other hand, Renault Samsung produced 14,391 units, up 121.1% from the previous year. Compared to the previous month, it decreased 67.7%. 
Domestic sales fell 19.2% year-on-year to 111,294 units last month. This is due to continued global automotive chip shortages and suspension of factory operation.
Hyundai and Kia sold 46,205 and 37,038 units, down 22.3% and 10.7%, respectively. Domestic sales of Ssangyong Motor and GM Korea were 4,836 and 1,344 units, down 14.4% and 78.0%, respectively.
Renault Samsung sold 4,477 units in Korea, up 26.7%. All of the top five models sold in Korea were domestic cars. 
The Genesis G80 sold the most with 5501 units, followed by Avante (5437 units), Sorento (5066 units), Sportage (4455 units), and Palisade (4302 units). Sales of imported cars fell 22.3% to 17,331 units. All brands except Japanese (7.4%) and French (12.2%) have decreased in sales.
Automobile sales of imported cars from the U.S. (-38.9%), the U.K (-0.8%), Germany (--23.6%), Sweden (14.5%), and Italy (11.1%) all decreased. Export volume of automobiles also fell 6.4% to 179,709 units last month. 
However, export earnings rose 2.3% to $4.09 billion. It is analyzed that the reverse-base effect and the production decrease contributed to exports increase. However, the amount of production exceeded $4 billion for 3 consecutive months due to increased exports of eco-friendly vehicles. 
It is the first time in 91 months since July 2014. By company, Hyundai (77,342 units, -5.5%), GM Korea (11,576 units, -61.5%), and Ssangyong (2704 units, -9.9%) performed poorly. Kia (79,000 units, 6.1%) and Renault Samsung (8837 units, 237.5%) posted relatively good sales and exports. 
Exports of eco-friendly vehicles rose 36.8% year-on-year to 44,877 units. Exports earnings increased by 39.8% to about $1.26 billion, hitting the new record in January. 
Exports of eco-friendly vehicles have increased by more than double digits for 13 consecutive months since January 2021. As of last month, exports of eco-friendly vehicles accounted for 25.0% of the total export volume and 30.8% of export earnings. 
By vehicle type, exports of electric vehicles (EV), hybrid cars, and plug-in hybrid cars (PHEV) increased 51.0%, 26.7%, and 44.4% to 17,861, 22,797 and 4,171 units, respectively. 
Until January to November last year, cumulative exports of eco-friendly vehicles reached $10.35 billion, surpassing $10 billion for the first time ever. 

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