South Korean carmaker Hyundai and its sibling firm Kia have topped the list of exporters in Korea, posting a record-high of $54.5 billion in total export volume, Hyundai Motor Group said Tuesday.
Among 1,700 companies here, Hyundai and Kia ranked first and second place, respectively, the highest record since 2012 when the two recorded $350 billion in exports.
From July 2022 to June this year, Hyundai’s exports surged on-year 29.6 percent to $31 billion, while Kia saw a 30.7 percent jump to $23.5 billion.
Hyundai Motor Company CEO Chang Jae-hoon and Kia CEO Song Ho-sung participated in a celebratory event hosted by the Korea International Trade Association in Gangnam-gu, Seoul earlier in the day.
Hyundai Motor Group said that despite a global economic slowdown, the sales expansion of highly profitable car lineups, the launch of electric vehicles equipped with its exclusive EV platform E-GMP and the surge in sales overseas were the drivers behind the stellar performance.
In particular, the two carmakers’ EV exports soared twofold to 119,569 units last year compared to 2022.
With a goal to complete a total of 31 electric car lineups by 2030, Hyundai broke ground for the construction of an EV manufacturing plant in Ulsan in November. The annual production capacity of the plant is projected to be 200,000 units. Meanwhile, Kia is setting up a production facility for battery-powered cars with a capacity of 150,000 units in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province.
In terms of region, Hyundai witnessed sales growth in the US and Europe, two of the world's biggest automotive markets. Its premium brand Genesis has driven US sales, hitting record-high figures for two years in a row.
In the case of Kia, North America took up 33 percent of exports last year, followed by Europe at 31 percent; Middle East and Africa at 13 percent; Asia Pacific at 12 percent; and Central America at 7 percent.
Starting with Hyundai’s Pony Wagon, the first Korea-made car that was exported, the automotive business has become one of the key industries in the export-led country, according to the carmaker. In 2021, vehicles and car parts each ranked second and fifth place among the country's top 10 export products.