South Korean auto industry slides for third in a row, may soon fall behind Mexico
Auto production in South Korea fell for a third straight year after car giant Hyundai Motor moved assembly operations to India and General Motors closed a plant in the south western city of Gunsan.
Production dipped by 2% to 4.03 million vehicles last year, down from a peak of 4.66 million in 2011, according to the Korean Automobile Manufacturers Association.
South Korea long ranked as one of the world’s largest auto producers, behind China, the U.S., Japan and Germany, but in 2017 it ceded its place to India and now Mexico threatens to overtake it in 2019.
Official data suggest Mexico built 3.9 million light vehicles in 2018, but that figure does not include car production from Mercedes-Benz, which started manufacturing operations in Aguascalientes in mid-2018.
However, it’s unlikely that total Mexican production in 2018 exceeded that of South Korea.