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South Korean carmakers' exports hit record high

South Korea,Business/Economy, Mon, 09 Apr 2012 IANS

Seoul, April 9 (IANS) South Korean carmakers marked their record monthly exports last month due to robust overseas demand for small-sized cars and sport utility vehicles (SUVs) manufactured domestically, a government report showed Monday.


Overseas automobile shipments by five local carmakers, including Hyundai Motor, Kia Motors, GM Korea, Renault Samsung Motors and Ssangyong Motor, reached a new monthly high of 305,257 units in March, up 18.1 percent from a year earlier, according to the Ministry of Knowledge Economy.


For the first three months of this year, exports surged 20.3 percent on-year to 851,571 units. The ministry attributed the record monthly exports to strong demand from overseas for locally-made small cars and SUVs, of which outbound shipments jumped 30.4 percent and 17.4 percent on- year in March respectively, reported Xinhua.


The value of March exports reached $4.93 billion, up 35.1 percent from the previous year. The average unit price of exported vehicles advanced 8.3 percent on-year to $14,300 in March.


Car production in South Korea expanded 6.3 percent on-year to 420,759 vehicles in March amid brisk exports, according to the ministry.


Output by top automaker Hyundai Motor surged 19.5 percent on-year to 180,208 units in March due to solid exports, but the No. 2 manufacturer Kia Motors saw its car production edged up 2 percent due to reduction in working hours.


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