Europe becomes carmakers' biggest export market


Europe became the biggest export market for Korean carmakers as their sales in Europe increased sharply last year.


Kia Motors Corp.'s sales volume in Europe jumped 35.2 percent to 361,551 vehicles last year outdoing that of the United States where 301,789 units were sold, down 8.7 percent compared to 2004.


Kia Motors's exports to China, its third largest export market, also grew 53.9 percent to 122,151 units.

As for GM Daewoo Auto & Technology Co., the carmaker sold 146,272 units in Western Europe in the eleven months leading up to November last year, while selling 133,481 units in the United States.


GM Daewoo's sales in Western Europe and the United States surged 13.6 percent and dropped 8.5 percent, respectively, compared to 2004.

The nation's third largest automaker also saw exports soar 29.6 percent in Eastern Europe, 102.2 percent in the Asia Pacific region, 46.2 percent in Africa and the Middle East, and 102.1 percent in Central and South Americas.


European sales of SsangYong Motor Co. took up about 63 percent of its total exports as the figure more than doubled to 41,150 units last year.

The nation's No.4 automaker saw exports to Asia Pacific, Central and South Americas, Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa rise 85.4 percent, 92.2 percent, 92.2 percent, 153.1 percent and 96.8 percent, respectively.


The United States was the biggest export market for only Hyundai Motor Co. although its sales in the world's largest auto market dipped from 495,218 units to 386,802 units last year. The nation's largest carmaker saw European exports increase 6.7 percent to 354,479 units in 2005.


- Source from Korea Herald (Jan 10, 2006) -