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South Korean auto industry slides further in global ranking

Overtaken by China, Seoul may soon fall behind Mexico

South Korean car production is shrinking as sales slide in the country's major export markets, squeezing profitability for auto parts suppliers. (Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor)

SEOUL -- Auto production in South Korea fell for a third straight year, putting further pressure on component suppliers as car giant Hyundai Motor moves assembly operations abroad.

Production dipped by 2% to 4.03 million vehicles last year, down from a peak of 4.66 million in 2011, according to the Korean Automobile Manufacturers Association.

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