Exports by South Korean automakers plunged in February from a year earlier due to a drop in output that resulted partly from reduced working days, the government said Monday.
The country's five automakers shipped a total of 234,161 vehicles last month, down 21.9 percent from the same month last year, according to the Ministry of Knowledge Economy.
Their combined value dropped by a smaller margin of 15.1 percent on-year to US$3.74 billion, reflecting a continued increase in the price of domestically produced cars.
The Ministry attributed the drop in outbound shipments to a fall in production, which plunged 19.8 percent on-year to 338,278 units, due partly to a drop in the number of working days from a year earlier.
"A fall in the number of working days due to the Lunar New Year holiday was the main cause of the drops in output, exports and local sales," it said in a press release.
Combined domestic sales of the five automakers fell 10.3 percent on-year to 110,090 units. The automakers are Hyundai Motor Co., Kia Motors Corp., GM Korea, Renault Samsung Motors Co. and Ssangyong Motor Co.
Despite a drop in overall exports, shipments to North American countries jumped 51 percent on-year with those to the United States alone surging 53.8 percent from a year earlier to 72,997 vehicles.
Shipments to Europe, on the other hand, slipped 7.6 percent on-year to 57,232 cars with shipments to Central American countries also falling 8.5 percent to 32,649 units.
The domestic market share of imported vehicles continued to grow with 10,556 units sold in February, up 14.8 percent from the same month last year, the ministry said.