South Korea Will Build 5 Million Autos In 2007

Will account for 7.5% of global car production in 2007

South Korea's auto production at home and overseas will surpass five million this year for the first time, Prime Minister Han Duck-Soo predicted May 11. "The year 2007 will serve as a turning point for South Korea's carmakers," Han told a meeting of government and car industry officials in southern Seoul.

"In 2007 auto production within South Korea will reach four million, while that outside the country will amount to one million," Yonhap news agency quoted him as saying.

Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors, the nation's two largest automakers, operate factories in the U.S., Eastern Europe, China and other Asian nations. Last month Hyundai Motor sold 225,178 vehicles, with domestic sales rising 16.5% and exports gaining 8.7%.

Last year South Korean carmakers produced 3.8 million units within the country and 990,000 overseas, the commerce ministry said. It said South Korea will make up 7.5% of global car production this year, up from 6.9% last year.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007

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