Passenger car exports rise 2.7 percent in first quarterPassenger automobile exports rose 2.7 percent in the first quarter compared to the same period a year ago as orders from North America and Russia increased and on strong demand for environmentally friendly vehicles, the Korea Customs Service said Friday.
Automakers exported $9.3 billion worth of passenger cars in the first three months of 2019, up from $9.1 billion a year ago, the service said. In the same period, the number of vehicles shipped decreased 0.1 percent, from 690,000 units to 595,000. The average export price rose to $15,653 from $15,235 a year earlier.
Passenger car exports to the United States, the largest market for Korean passenger cars, came to $3.49 billion in the first quarter, up 13.8 percent from the same period in 2018.
The U.S. market took 37.5 percent of Korean auto exports in the first quarter, which is up from 33.8 percent in the first quarter of the previous year.
The customs service reported that auto exports to Russia jumped 13 percent year on year, from $525 million to $593 million. Total passenger auto exports to Canada rose 4.9 percent. Those to Germany were up 18 percent, to Britain 26.4 percent and to Vietnam 44.9 percent.
Auto exports to France fell 19 percent. Exports to Australia declined by a 5.9 percent.
Customs said exports of environment-friendly vehicles rose 33.8 percent to $1.26 billion in the first three months of the year compared to the first quarter of 2018. The average export price for those vehicles rose 9.2 percent to $22,806.
The U.S. market took 18.1 percent of all environmentally friendly cars exported from Korea.
Passenger car imports decreased 20.1 percent to $2.4 billion from the first quarter of 2018. Korea imported a total of 65,000 foreign passenger cars in the first quarter, which is 19.3 percent lower year on year.
BY KO JUN-TAE [firstname.lastname@example.org]
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