SEOUL, Aug. 14 (Korea Bizwire) — Over the past five years, during which the free trade agreement (FTA) between South Korea and EU entered effect, the number of European-made cars imported to South Korea grew by 95 percent, while the number of Korean-produced vehicles exported to Europe grew by just 13 percent.
According to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA), the number of European cars exported to Korea totaled 94,674 vehicles in 2012, and grew 95 percent to 184,368 vehicles in 2017.
This, in terms of monetary value, means that EU automobile exports to Korea totaled 2.49 billion euros in 2012, which rose to 6.38 billion euros in 2017, an increase of 153 percent.
Having been the 10th largest automobile market for the EU in 2012, South Korea has now become the world’s 7th largest importer of European cars.
Meanwhile, the number of South Korean cars exported to the EU increased from 406,699 vehicles in 2012 to 460,904 vehicles last year, for a growth rate of 13.3 percent.
In terms of monetary value, the exports brought in 3.91 billion euros in revenues in 2012 which grew to 5.57 billion euros in 2017, a growth rate of 42.5 percent.
A closer look into the automobile trade between South Korea and the EU indicates that South Korea recorded a surplus of 1.41 billion euros against the EU in 2012, only to fall to a deficit of 729 million euros last year.
In addition, South Korean cars, in terms of the number of vehicles sold, were the top selling imports in Europe in 2012, but in 2016 ranked third after Turkish and Japanese cars.
Japanese carmakers exported 405,094 vehicles to Europe in 2012, which increased by 36 percent to 551,010 in 2017, surpassing South Korea in the category.
However, one reason why the number of Korean-made exports to Europe has faltered may be because Korean carmakers have started to focus on producing vehicles at factories in Europe instead.
At present, Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors have production facilities in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
H. S. Seo (firstname.lastname@example.org)