SEOUL, Nov. 16 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s exports of automobiles fell 3.2 percent on-year in October after rebounding briefly the previous month, as the resurgence of COVID-19 cases around the globe hurt consumer sentiment.

Local carmakers shipped a combined 200,666 units of automobiles overseas last month, according to the data compiled by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. In terms of value, auto exports edged up 5.8 percent to US$4 billion.

During the January-September period, the country shipped 1,529,818 units of automobiles, down 22.9 percent on-year, as the pandemic crippled auto output and sapped demand, the data added.

Outbound shipments of cars had rebounded 14.8 percent on-year in September to snap five consecutive months of decline, helped by improved sales in North America.

Industry leader Hyundai Motor Co. saw its overseas sales drop 12.2 percent on-year in October, hurt by rising COVID-19 cases in Europe.

Hyundai’s smaller sister Kia Motors Corp., on the other hand, saw its shipments advance 15.7 percent on the back of robust sales of eco-friendly models.

Outbound shipments by GM Korea Co., the South Korean unit of General Motors Co., edged up 2.2 percent on-year on strong demand for sport utility vehicles.

Exports of SsangYong Motor Co. increased 23.7 percent, while those of Renault Samsung Motors Corp. crashed 93.9 percent on a base effect.

By destinations, exports to North America advanced 12.4 percent, and those to the European Union rose 17.7 percent. Those to Eastern European nations, however, slipped 9.6 percent over the period.

Exports to Asian countries also decreased 21.2 percent on-year in October, the data showed.

South Korea’s combined auto production fell 4.3 percent to reach 336,279 units due to the reduced number of working days. Domestic sales inched up 1.7 percent to reach 160,151 over the period, the data showed.