SEOUL, Aug. 17 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s exports of automobiles dropped by almost 12 percent in July from a year earlier, extending their slump to a fourth month, due mainly to the new coronavirus pandemic that has strained global business activities while weighing on consumer sentiment, data showed Monday.

Local carmakers shipped 181,362 units of cars overseas last month, down 11.7 percent from a year earlier, according to the data compiled by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

The country’s auto exports declined 40.1 percent, 57.5 percent and 44.6 percent in June, May and April, respectively, according to the data.

In terms of value, outbound shipments of autos sank 4.2 percent on-year to US$3.66 billion in July.

The slump in outbound shipments came as the COVID-19 pandemic has led to lockdowns across the globe, with overseas distributors of South Korean automobiles also shutting down their businesses.

The global economic crisis sparked by the pandemic also induced consumers to have second thoughts about purchasing brand new cars.

South Korea’s combined auto production decreased 3.8 percent on-year to 345,711 units last month.

Domestic sales, however, rose 8.9 percent to 164,539 units on the back of carmakers’ promotions and marketing efforts.