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Japan tensions add to woes of South Korea's troubled auto sector

Slow in the drive toward EVs, industry asks for financial aid to meet challenge

The sluggish global car market is creating additional drag on the country's automakers, which have lagged in the shift to low- and zero-emission vehicles.   © Reuters

ULSAN, South Korea -- Workers are scarce at a plant run by Oto Industry, where a few hundred roaring machines spin out shafts for automobile transmissions in this industrial city, home to Hyundai Motor's main factory.

Oto, which supplies most of the components to the country's biggest carmaker, Hyundai, its affiliate Kia Motors, and Fiat Chrysler, logged its best earnings performance in 2015. But its sales have dropped by about 20% a year since then, largely because of Hyundai's slump in China and the U.S.

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