S. Korea's Auto Exports Drop 17.1 pct in Feb.
2018-03-13    [Source:Yonhap]

South Korea's automobile exports declined 17.1 percent on-year last month on sluggish sales in major markets, due in part to fewer working days caused by the Lunar New Year holiday, government data showed Tuesday.

South Korea exported 165,952 vehicles worth $2.81 billion in February, according to the data compiled by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

Shipments to North America, South Korea's largest auto market, tumbled 36.9 percent on weak demand and intensifying competition with other global brands.

Overseas sales of auto parts also decreased 17.8 percent on-year to $1.69 billion in February as major markets except in the Middle East showed lackluster performance.

A total of 276,938 cars were produced in February, down 17.6 percent from a year earlier, as the total number of working days were affected by Lunar New Year, the ministry said. The three-day traditional holiday, which is determined by the lunar calendar, fell in late January last year.

In the domestic market, auto sales of imported brands jumped 23.9 percent to 20,631 units as German luxury cars continued to gain popularity among local consumers. In contrast, sales of locally produced cars fell 12.4 percent to 105,339 units.

GM Korea, the South Korean unit of General Motors Co., posted a 48 percent sales drop in the domestic market in February as consumer sentiment was affected by the company's plan to shut down one of its four car assembly plants here. The Detroit-based carmaker has been in talks with the Seoul government to find ways to turn GM's loss-making Korean unit around.

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