SEOUL, July 27 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s auto output sank nearly 20 percent to an 11-year low in the first half of the year due to the coronavirus outbreak, industry data showed Monday.
Industry leader Hyundai Motor Co. and four other automakers produced 1.63 million vehicles in the January-June period, down 19.8 percent from a year earlier, according to the data from the Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association (KAMA).
It was the lowest figure since the 1.53 million units produced in the first half of 2009.’
The sharp drop resulted mainly from tumbling exports. Automakers’ overseas shipments plunged 33.4 percent on-year to about 826,700 units in the first half, the worst record since 2002.
In contrast, their domestic sales came to nearly 802,500, the largest figure since 2016.
GM Korea Co., the South Korean unit of General Motors Co., suffered the biggest setback, with its production falling some 31 percent on-year to a 16-year low of about 159,400 units.
SsangYong Motor Co., the South Korean unit of Indian carmaker Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., saw its first-half output dip 32.6 percent on-year to some 48,160, the lowest since 2010.
Hyundai’s first-half production fell 17 percent on-year to some 742,370 units, with No. 2 Kia Motors Corp. posting an 18.5 percent drop to some 608,300 units, according to the data.