S. Korea retains 5th place in global vehicle output: report

South Korea ranked fifth in terms of the global vehicle production last year, retaining the spot for the second consecutive year, amid efforts to minimize the fallout from the pandemic-caused global chip shortages, a report showed Monday.

The combined vehicle output by South Korean carmakers, including Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Corp., reached 3.46 million units as of end-2021, down 1.3 percent from the previous year, according to the report by the Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association (KAMA).

China kept the top spot for 13 straight years by producing 26.1 million vehicles in 2021, followed by the United States with 9.15 million units, Japan with 7.84 million and India with 4.39 million, respectively, the report said.

The overall global car output rose 2 percent on-year to 79.7 million units.

“Despite a series of unfavorable factors, such as the global semiconductor crisis, South Korea has managed to minimize the impact through inventory management and active efforts to secure the chips,” KAMA said in the report.

Globally, the automobile industry has yet to recover to pre-pandemic levels due to the frequent global chip supply disruptions and new virus waves triggered by the outbreak of COVID-19 variants, the report noted.

The report also found that export-dependent countries, such as South Korea, Japan, Germany and Mexico, saw their output decline, hit by the coronavirus-driven border controls and economic slowdown.

South Korea should see the competition with China intensifying as Beijing has been focusing on exports as a way to ease its oversupply in the domestic market, the report said. (Yonhap)

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