Seoul, Jan 10 (IANS) Auto exports in South Korea posted a double-digit decline in 2016 amid soft demand for cars globally, labour strikes at key domestic carmakers and expanded production in overseas factories, a government report showed on Tuesday.
South Korean automakers exported 2.623 million cars in 2016, down 11.8 per cent from 2015, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, Xinhua news agency reported.
In terms of value, the exports retreated 11.3 per cent to $40.6 billion.
Labour strikes among key local automakers, including top carmaker Hyundai Motor, disrupted production, leading to the export fall.
The increased production in overseas factories helped reduce exports by car manufacturers.
Global demand for cars weakened in 2016 amid the economic slowdown across the world.
Demand from Africa and the Middle East for South Korean cars tumbled 36.5 per cent and 28.4 per cent, respectively, amid low crude oil prices that hit the oil-exporting countries in the regions.
Amid the export reduction, auto production in South Korea stood at 4.229 million units in 2016, down 7.2 per cent from 2015.
Car sales in the domestic market inched down 0.4 per cent to 1.825 million units in 2016. Sales of cars, made by domestic companies, climbed 1.0 per cent on the back of temporary cuts in consumption tax for luxury goods.
Imported car sales declined 8.3 per cent over the year to 252,000 units in 2016 as German carmaker Volkswagen's emissions-fabricating scandal tarnished brand image of foreign automakers.