The value of new vehicle exports from South Korea rose 5% year on year to US$6.5bn in May 2024, driven by strong demand in the US, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

Overall shipments of eco-friendly models, such as hybrids and battery electric vehicles (BEVs), accounted for a third of the total last month, or US$2.18bn. In terms of volume, exports increased 3% to 254,496 units.

North America was the biggest export destination for South Korean vehicles in May, with the value of shipments surging 36% to US$3.96bn, while shipments to the EU plunged 43% to $649m.

Exports to other Asian countries fell 18% to $472m, Middle East $422m (-15%) and Central and Southern America $217m (-6%).

In the first five months of the year, exports increased 4.7% to a record $30.8bn, with the government targeting $100bn over the full year, helped by the production launch of the EV3 at the newly refurbished Kia Autoland Gwangmyeong plant in the second half of the year.

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