South Korea's auto exports jumped 14 percent on-year in September thanks to greater demand for fuel efficient vehicles and improved quality of locally made cars, an industry report showed Friday.
The report by the Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association (KAMA) said domestic carmakers shipped out 249,342 vehicles last month, up from 218,649 units a year earlier.
In the first nine months of the year, exports rose 13.7 percent to more than 2.27 million vehicles, from 1.99 million vehicles in the same period of 2010.
"Spikes in fuel prices around the world sparked demand for small, fuel efficient cars, while sharp improvements in quality and performance also contributed to the greater numbers," the association said.
Better consumer brand recognition of South Korean carmakers such as Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp., helped overseas sales, despite a general slowdown in the global economy that would usually hurt the car market, it added.
KAMA said overall production of locally manufactured cars rose 10.3 percent from a year earlier to 374,014 units last month, while output from January through September gained 9.4 percent to more than 3.38 million vehicles.