Hyundai Motors took a small but important step recently that moves towards Korea’s goal of clean energy by opening the nation’s first hydrogen refueling station
Auto Trade Flows Freely Between Korea and the United States
If you need any more evidence of the value of a solid trade deal between countries, look no farther than the renegotiated 2018 trade deal between Korea and the United States. According to LMC Automotive, a highly-respected market analysis firm based in London, Korean-made vehicles are projected to account for more than 5.5 percent of U.S. vehicle sales in 2020. That’s significantly up from 4.5 percent, and approaching the volume of European-made vehicles.
The revised U.S.- Korean Free Trade Agreement did not impose any tariffs on Korean automobiles sold in the U.S. while making it easier for American-made vehicles to enter the Korean marketplace—a win-win for both nations.
As a result, Korean-made automobiles, including passenger cars and sports utility vehicles, are projected to reach 923,000 this year. Vehicles from Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors will account for 75 percent of that volume, while the rest will come from General Motors vehicles manufactured or assembled in Korea.
Hyundai and Kia are projected to import nearly 670,000 vehicles this year, slightly higher than its annual average from 2014. General Motors imports from Korea, which totaled fewer than 90,000 vehicles in 2014, climbed to 185,000 last year, and are expected to surge to more than 253,000 this year, according to LMC.
General Motors, the lone U.S. automotive manufacturer that imports vehicles from Korea, has hired more than 9,200 employees in its manufacturing and assembling facilities there. Korea’s plants allowed the company to quickly offer new smaller crossover vehicles when American consumers began their move away from passenger vehicles in 2010, meeting their purchasing preferences far more quickly than would have been possible without those facilities.
Its mix of vehicle imports from Korea currently includes small crossovers such as the Buick Encore, Chevrolet Trax and upcoming Buick Encore GX and Chevrolet Trailblazer. Its three assembly plants produce several passenger cars such as the Chevrolet Malibu and Chevrolet Spark for local markets.
None of this would have been possible without the trade agreement.