Automobile production in Korea slid by about 5 percent in September compared to a year ago. The blame falls on GM Korea workers’ strike and Hyundai Motor’s sluggish commercial vehicle sales.
According to the Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association on Oct. 10, a total of 278,016 vehicles were produced in Korea in September, a decrease of 4.8 percent compared to 291971 in the same month of last year. In August, auto production declined by 16 percent compared to a year ago, but this was largely the result of seasonal factors stemming from vacation schedules for factory workers.
The decline in September was blamed on production disruptions caused by a strike by GM Korea’s labor union. In September, GM Korea's production amounted to 17,491 units, down 46.7 percent from 32,819 units in the same month last year.
Along with the strike at GM Korea, Hyundai Motor's sluggish commercial vehicle sales had a significant impact on the decline in Korean car production in September.
Hyundai's commercial vehicle production fell by 13,953 units in September, down 30.9 percent from the same month last year (22,183 units) and down 6,230 units from August. This is larger than Hyundai's reduction in passenger car output (5,632 units) during the same period.
Meanwhile, in September, Renault Samsung Motors produced 13,474 units, a 5.1 percent drop on year, while SsangYong Motor rolled out 10,657 units, a 1.0 percent drop on year.