SEOUL, Aug. 7 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's automobile exports jumped last month on the back of enhanced brand value and lower tariffs in Europe, a government report showed Thursday.
Exports of locally-made cars increased 16 percent from a year earlier to 266,741 vehicles in July, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
The solid exports came as perceptions over local auto brands improved globally. The nation's biggest automaker Hyundai Motor ranked first in terms of product satisfaction and appeal, according to a poll by the U.S.-based J.D. Power.
Lower import tariffs in Europe also helped boost car exports. Tariffs on South Korean cars with an engine capacity of 1.5-liter or more were lowered from 2 percent to zero in accordance with the free trade deal with the European Union (EU).
The tariff for cars with an engine displacement of 1.5-liter or less was cut from 5 percent to 3.3 percent from July.
Auto parts exports hit a monthly record high of 2.47 billion dollars in July thanks to demand from China and the United States, South Korea's top two trading partners.
Local car sales rose 4 percent from a year earlier to 146,226 units in July due to strong demand for foreign luxury brands, of which sales surged 21.1 percent last month.
Auto production expanded 22.4 percent to 409,283 units in the cited period due to active production of new models.