SEOUL, Sept. 27 (Korea Bizwire) – Carmakers in South Korea saw their overseas production exceed domestic output in the first eight months of this year, industry data showed Tuesday, as local automakers have built more assembly lines in foreign countries in recent years.
Seven carmakers, including top automaker Hyundai Motor Co. and its sister company Kia Motors Corp., produced 2,773,067 units in the January-August period, according to data compiled by the Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association.
In comparison, Hyundai and Kia built 2,916,840 units at their overseas plants during the same period.
The move came as Hyundai and Kia — which together form the world’s fifth-largest automaker — have built more assembly lines in foreign countries in recent years.
Hyundai has plants in the United States, Brazil, India, China, Turkey, the Czech Republic and Russia while Kia runs assembly lines in Mexico, the U.S., China and Slovakia.
Hyundai and Kia have a combined overseas capacity of 5.1 million units a year, compared with a combined domestic capacity of 3.38 million units, according to Hyundai.
Separately, the unionized workers of Hyundai Motor at local plants went ahead with a partial strike Tuesday, the latest in a series in recent weeks over a wage deal.
The walkouts have prevented Hyundai from producing 113,400 units, costing the carmaker 2.5 trillion won (US$2.2 billion) in lost production, according to the company.
Still, the union and management are set to sit down for talks to work out the differences on the deal.