SEOUL, May 23 (Korea Bizwire) — Although the total number of Korean cars exported this year thus far has dropped, the average unit price has risen due to the increase in exports of SUVs and luxury sedans.
This is expected to help carmakers cash in on profits despite the industry’s overall slowed growth.
According to the Korean Automobile Manufacturing Association, the total number of cars exported by five local car makers (Hyundai, Kia, GM Korea, Renault Samsung, and SsangYong Motors) in this year’s first quarter was 573,430 units, an 8.6 percent decrease from the same period last year.
The local car manufacturing industry has seen stagnant growth as exports have been shrinking for five years after peaking at 3.16 million vehicles in 2012. The total number of cars exported last year stood at 2.5 million units.
Meanwhile, the average unit price (value of total exports / number of cars) of exported cars in the first quarter was $15,500, an increase of 2.9 percent from last year.
This is the highest average price per unit ever recorded. After hitting $12,000 in 2010, the average price per unit continued to rise before hitting reaching the $15,000 mark last year.
Experts predict that last year’s high will be surpassed again this year following the results of the first quarter. The continued rise in average unit price is attributed to the rise in exports of high value-added vehicles such as SUVs and luxury sedans.
SsangYong Motors saw the largest increase in average unit price.
Industry insiders say that carmakers are focusing on increasing production of vehicles that create more value.
One source close to the matter said, “If the average unit price increases, it will increase profits for car producers and help improve their performance.”
H. S. Seo (firstname.lastname@example.org)