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S. Korean automakers expand presence in 6 ASEAN markets

13:50 July 22, 2020

SEOUL, July 22 (Yonhap) -- South Korean automakers saw their sales increase in six member nations of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) over the past three years helped by strong demand in Vietnam, industry data showed Wednesday.

They sold a combined 184,595 vehicles in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam and the Philippines in 2019, accounting for 5.2 percent of the vehicle markets there, the Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association (KAMA) said in a statement.

Korean vehicle sales in the six markets rose from 168,834 units in 2018 and 133,937 in 2017, with their market share increasing from 4.7 percent in 2018 and 4 percent in 2017, it said.

"In recent years, Korean carmakers increased shipments of their vehicles to Vietnam in the form of complete knockdown (CKD) units, which can be assembled at local plants to avoid heavy auto tariffs," Seo Jin-won, a researcher at KAMA's trade and international cooperation division, said over the phone.

Rising demand for Korean vehicles in Vietnam, in particular, boosted overall Korean vehicle sales in the six ASEAN markets, the researcher said.

Korean carmakers have shipped CKDs to the other ASEAN markets, but demand for their vehicles remains weak, KAMA said.

In the six ASEAN markets, Japanese carmakers sold 2.63 million vehicles in 2019 to claim a 74 percent share there, the association said.

But their market share has been on the decline from 76 percent in 2018 and 77 percent in 2017, it said.

kyongae.choi@yna.co.kr
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