South Korea’s auto industry to show ‘robust’ growth in H2

Carmakers in South Korea are set to continue benefiting this year from “robust” growth both in their domestic and export markets, the country’s ministry of trade, industry and energy said.

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“The automotive industry is expected to maintain robust year-on-year growth in production, domestic sales and exports in the second half of 2014,” the ministry disclosed late last week.

Production is forecast to go up by 0.9%, domestic sales by 0.7%, and exports by 6.9% in July-December in comparison with the same period of 2013, according to the ministry.

The positive outlook came together with the announcement of a 2.6% year-on-year increase in automobile production in South Korea in the first half of the year, to 2.34 million units.

Contrary to what is expected for the second part of the year, however, the January-June output figure was mainly driven by the domestic market, with sales boosting by 7.3% to 807,063 units, according to the ministry.

Automobile exports increased by only 0.4% in the period, to 1.59 million units.

“Domestic sales’ growth of 7.3% [came] despite numerous challenges […] and was primarily attributed to the growth in demand witnessed in all vehicle size categories,” the ministry pointed out.

For June alone though, automobile output went down by 4.5% year-on-year to 380,456 units, while exports dipped 8.2% to 254,675 vehicles.

Sales in the domestic market boosted 10.1%, however, to 139,864 units, making June the sixth consecutive month to show year-on-year rises in domestic shipments.

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