By Kang Yoon-seung
SEOUL, Oct. 19 (Yonhap) --- South Korea's exports of automobiles rebounded in September to snap a decline of five consecutive months on the back of improved shipments to North America, data showed Monday.
Local carmakers shipped 193,081 units of cars overseas last month, up 14.8 percent from a year earlier, according to the data compiled by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. In terms of value, auto exports advanced 23.2 percent to US$3.8 billion.
Over the January-September period, the country shipped 1,330,859 units of automobiles, down 25.1 percent on-year, the data added.
Outbound shipments of automobiles had been losing ground throughout this year as the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted global supply chains, while consumers also refrained from purchasing new cars amid economic uncertainties.
In April, automobile exports dropped 44.6 percent on-year, followed by another 57.5 percent decrease in May.
Industry leader Hyundai Motor Co. saw its automobile exports advance 6.7 percent on-year in September, on the back of the robust sales of SUVs.
Exports of Hyundai's smaller sister Kia Motors Corp. rebounded 12.8 percent as well on growing demand for environment friendly models.
Outbound shipments by GM Korea Co., the South Korean unit of General Motors Co., more than doubled in September from the previous year, also on the back of SUV models.
Renault Samsung Motors Corp. and SsangYong Motor Co., on the other hand, saw their exports drop 80.3 percent and 46.7 percent, respectively.
By destination, exports to North America climbed 61 percent.
Exports to the European Union, on the other hand, slipped 1.4 percent, and those to Asian nations decreased 5.5 percent.
South Korea's combined auto production rose 23.2 percent on-year in September to reach 342,489 on the back of rising demand from both home and abroad.
Domestic sales advanced 22.2 percent to reach 162,716 over the period, the data showed.