January 11, 2017 8:20 am JST

South Korean car production skids 7% in 2016

Falling exports, Hyundai strike drag on motor industry

KENICHI YAMADA, Nikkei staff writer

SEOUL -- South Korea produced 4.23 million autos in 2016, down 7% on the year, as exports to the Middle East and Latin America dropped and a union strike disrupted top automaker Hyundai Motor.

This marked the first decline in annual production since 2013.

Vehicle exports -- which account for a majority of output-- slid by 12% to 2.62 million units for a fourth straight year of decline, the country's Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy reported Tuesday.

A 2016 regional breakdown, which contained data only through November, showed auto exports to the U.S. slipping 11% to 850,000 vehicles. Autos bound for the Middle East fell 28% to 350,000, while exports to Latin American dropped 19% to 210,000. A rare bright spot was the European Union, which provided a 3% increase to 360,000.

Asia300

Hyundai Motor Co., Ltd.

South Korea

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