June Korean automotive exports of just 80,668 units were the lowest in 40 months, the Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association said.

Shipments last month fell 44.3% year-on-year and 39.2 percent month-to-month, due largely to the collapse of the ailing Daewoo Motor’s sales networks in the United States and Europe and protracted labour problems at Hyundai Motor.

June vehicle exports, including 75,422 cars and 5,246 commercial vehicles, were the lowest since February 1999, when 74,448 were shipped, while the year-on-year and month-to-month figures fell the furthest since the 1997-1998 economic crisis.

Daewoo Motor exports reduced 54.7% to 8,785 units, as sales networks in Eastern Europe and the United States, excluded from the General Motors takeover, collapsed.

Hyundai exports dropped 46.2% to 44,231 units, after a month-long labour dispute over pay.

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Kia and Ssangyong recorded year-on-year export falls of 33.9% and 25.2% while Renault Samsung shipped just two vehicles abroad.

Consequently, Korean vehicle exports for the first half shrank 7.9% to 680,512 units while exports of car assembly kits (CKD) fell 17.3% to 13,905 units in June, with the first-half down 23.7% to 94,773.