Korean auto manufacturing, sales down in 1st quarter

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Korean auto manufacturing, sales down in 1st quarter

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said Wednesday that domestic auto sales dropped by 3 percent and manufacturing by 0.8 percent in the first quarter this year due to a sharp decline in imported vehicle sales and partial strikes by labor unions.

Local automaker sales inched up 0.6 percent from last year, while imported vehicle sales dropped by 21.4 percent, leaving total vehicle sales in the country at 413,701 units.

Sales for Hyundai Motor and SsangYong Motors improved compared to the previous year, while other local automakers declined.

Ongoing strikes at Renault Samsung Motors due to a wage dispute between management and labor led to a decrease in the automaker’s export sales by 62.3 percent in March.

Auto exports improved, however, rising 2.4 percent from the previous year due to demand overseas for eco-friendly vehicles.

By Chae Yun-hwan
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