Korea ranks world's No. 5 in auto output


=Korea ranked No. 5 in global auto production last year, underscoring the strengthened competitiveness

in quality and technology of domestic-brand vehicles, the government said yesterday.

Asia's third-largest economy produced 3.7 million units, placing it fifth after the United States, Japan,

Germany and China. Of the total, 2.6 million units were shipped overseas.

As Korea's staple export item, automobiles account for 13.3 percent of local goods shipped abroad.

Exports account for about 40 percent of the country's $788 billion economy.

"We will seek to overcome the current challenges of the business environment and become a winning

global player through endless efforts to improve our automobile productivity, which will call for trimming

costs," said Commerce Minister Chung Sye-kyun, during his congratulatory address for the Third Automobile

Day celebration hosted at the Grand InterContinental in Seoul yesterday. "We support the industry's undying

efforts to develop innovative core technologies and improve the quality and brand image of Korean cars."

As of this year, aggregate production touched 50 million for the first time in 50 years, while exports reached

300 billion won for the first time in 45 years.

In hopes to become the world's No. 4 automobile producer, Korea's automobile industry is aiming to produce

a total of 7.6 million vehicles by 2015, with 5.2 million units manufactured at home and 2.4 million abroad, the

Commerce Ministry said.

The Automobile Day celebration was attended by about 300 guests, who included Prime Minister Han Myung-sook,

the vice president of Renault Samsung Motors Corp. and other high-ranking officials from the auto industry.

- Source from the Korea Herald(May 30, 2006)