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Monthly Infographic: Automobile exports

Korea's automobile exports log double-digit growth between Jan and May

Exports of eco-friendly cars are on the rise, accounting for 25% of Korea's total automobile exports

Jul 12, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

Automobile exports log double-digit growth for five straight months

In May 2021, exports of automobiles nearly doubled compared to the year-earlier period, logging double-digit growth for five consecutive months. Exports of eco-friendly cars accounted for 25% of the total automobile exports, accelerating the transition in export structure. Also, exports of auto parts rose for seven straight months.

Source: Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association, Korea International Trade Association

Car exports on a yearly basis

Unit: $100 million

Exports of automobiles turned sluggish after 2015 but began to show signs of a rebound in 2019. However, the upward trend was cut short in 2020 due to the global COVID-19 crisis. In 2021, outbound shipments of automobiles are expected to pick up again and reach $46 billion -- recovering to the 2015 level.

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Car exports in 2021

Exports of automobiles maintained double-digit growth from January to May of this year. Korea logged $19.6 billion with 874,694 units, up by 47.5% in export amount and 26% in units, respectively, compared to the year-earlier period.

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Outbound shipments of automobiles in May

In terms of export regions in May, North America accounted for the highest volume of outbound shipments followed by the EU and Eastern Europe. As for Latin America and Oceania, exports surged by 321% compared to the year-earlier period.

Exports by region

(Unit: $1 million)
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Exports of auto parts in May

In May, outbound shipments of auto parts reached $1.82 billion, up by 182.2% from the year-earlier period. Inconsistent demand prompted some plants to sporadically adjust their production volume, but improved consumer sentiment in major markets such as the US, EU and China helped boost the car sales market. As a result, auto parts exports have logged growth for seven months in a row.

Export region

(Unit: $1 million)
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Exports of eco-friendly automobiles

Unit: Number of items

Exports of eco-friendly automobiles have logged growth for five consecutive months, accounting for 25% of the total automobile exports. In May, some 27,507 units were exported, up by 36% compared to the year-earlier period, alongside fetching $870 million in export volume. Hybrid cars, plug-in hybrid cars and hydrogen cars all saw a rise in outbound shipments, notably among hybrid automobiles.

Exported units of eco-friendly cars in 2021

(Unit: Car units, from Jan to May)
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Exports of eco-friendly cars in May 2021

(Unit: $1 million)
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