Growth in car exports in April slowed to 3.9%

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Growth in car exports in April slowed to 3.9%

Korea’s car export growth slowed in April as overseas sales by smaller local carmakers contracted from a year earlier, a government report showed yesterday.

Overseas vehicle shipments reached 276,639 units last month, up a modest 3.9 percent gain from the 264,934 units sold a year earlier, the report by the Ministry of Knowledge Economy said.

The latest tally marks the second month in a row that export growth numbers fell compared to the previous month, it said.

In February, exports surged 51.2 percent on-year to 299,053, while sales numbers jumped 18.1 percent on-year to 305,257 vehicles in March.

The ministry said shipments of cars by Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors, the flagship companies of Hyundai Motor Group, the world’s fifth-largest carmaker, grew a solid 9.6 percent and 10.1 percent each. Foreign sales of GM Korea, Renault Samsung Motors and Ssangyong Motor, however, all posted negative growth.

“Hyundai and Kia are continuing to do well in foreign markets thanks to the popularity of such models as the Sonata, Optima and Elantra, but other carmakers have not done so well,” the ministry said.

It also said the parliamentary elections held on April 11 cut back the total working days last month, which hurt exports.

For the first four months of 2012, the ministry said exports of locally made cars amounted to slightly more than 1.13 million units, a gain of 16 percent from a year earlier.


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