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.