By Kang Yoon-seung
SEOUL, June 13 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s exports of automobiles jumped nearly 58 percent in May on the back of strong demand for eco-friendly cars and SUVs, data showed Sunday.
Outbound shipments of automobiles reached 150,894 units in May, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. In terms of value, exports nearly doubled to reach US$3.49 billion.
The ministry attributed the growth to the strong performance of electric cars, along with Hyundai Motor Co.’s independent Genesis brand.
The rebound also came on a base effect, as South Korea’s auto exports dropped around 60 percent on-year in May 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
By company, exports by Hyundai Motor, the top player, saw its exports jump 73.8 percent to reach 64,793 units.
Hyundai’s smaller sister Kia Corp. saw its exports gain 70.8 percent to 64,700 on the back of strong shipments of sport utility vehicles.
Outbound shipments of GM Korea Co. decreased 36.3 percent to 11,082 units as the global shortages of automobile chips disrupted its production line.
Financially troubled carmaker SsangYong Motor Co.’s exports grew sixfold to 3,794 units as it gradually normalized its production.
Exports by Renault Samsung Motors Corp. jumped more than fourfold on strong sales of the XM3 SUV in the European market.
By destinations, exports to North America jumped 70.1 percent to $1.42 billion, and those to the European Union added 84 percent to $664 million. Local production of cars came to 256,272 units in the month, up 10.9 percent on-year.