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S. Korea's automobile output shrinks on overseas production

All News 10:21 July 21, 2016

SEOUL, July 21 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's automobile output is on a decline but largely due to a rise in overseas production, industry data showed Thursday.

In 2015, the country's overall automobile output came to 4,555,957 units, down 2.2 percent from 4,657,094 in 2011, according to the data from the Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association (KAMA).

South Korea and Germany were the only countries among the world's top five automaking countries whose annual output dropped.

China, the world's largest automaker, had its production spike 33 percent to 24,503,326 over the cited period, while the No. 2 automaker, the United States, also had its auto output surge 39.9 percent. Japan, the world's third-largest automobile producing country, manufactured 9.278,321 vehicles in 2015, up 10.5 percent from 2011.

The drop in South Korea's output, however, was mostly attributed to a sharp increase in overseas production by the country's five automakers.

According to KAMA, overseas production of local industry leader Hyundai Motor Co. and its smaller affiliate Kia Motors Corp. jumped 40.5 percent to 4,411,617 cars in 2015 from 3,140,683 in 2011.

The five local automakers also include GM Korea, the South Korean unit of U.S. automaker General Motors Co.; Renault Samsung Motors Co., the local unit of French automaker Renault S.A.; and Ssangyong Motor Co., the local unit of India's Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd.

Amid a steady increase in overseas production by local automakers, their combined auto exports also dropped 2.8 percent on-year to 2,974,114 million units in 2015.

Their combined overseas sales, however, only inched down 0.8 percent on-year to 7,431,758 cars in 2015.


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