Korean automakers' recent drive to make inroads into the luxury car market seems to be paying off.
The Trade Ministry said Tuesday that increasing sales of more expensive cars helped the nation's auto exports reach a record high of 48.7 billion U.S. dollars last year, up more than three percent from a year earlier.
The record value comes despite a fall in the number of vehicles sold overseas last year caused largely by strikes of unionized auto workers and a weaker Japanese yen.
The ministry says the average export price of Korean cars has risen nearly 40 percent in the past four years.
The biggest increase in exports came from the U.S., where Hyundai Motor is stepping up its efforts to sell its luxury model Genesis.
The Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association estimates Korea's overall 2013 vehicle shipments to the U.S. at a record 12 billion dollars, up nearly 15 percent from the previous year.
Hyundai, the world's fifth-largest automaker, plans to introduce new luxury models in the U.S. this year when it aims to increase its market share there to 4.7 percent from 4.6 percent in 2013, reversing a recent trend of a fall in its presence.
Hwang Ji-hye, Arirang News.