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Korean Carmakers To More Than Double Production By 1993

August 2, 1988

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) _ South Korea’s four major automobile makers plan to more than double their combined production capacity to 3.42 million vehicles by 1993, government and industry officials said Tuesday.

Officials at the Ministry of Trade and Industry, quoting investment proposals by the four companies, said a sharp increase in car production is needed to meet growing demands for South Korean cars at home and abroad.

Industry officials said the projects would cost more than $4 billion over the next five years.

South Korea is pushing to develop its car industry as a major export earner. South Korean firms plan to produce 1.3 million cars this year, about two-thirds of them set aside for exports to the United States and other countries.

Industry officials said Hyundai Motor Co., the country’s largest car maker, plans to build a new plant with an initial production capacity of 360,000 vehicles by 1993 on the west coast.

The new plant will increase Hyundai’s capacity to 1.1 million vehicles, they said.

Daewoo Motor Co., South Korea’s No. 2 automaker, also plans to triple its capacity from the present 445,000 to 1.45 million vehicles by 1993, the officials said.

The expansion, if pushed successfully, would make Daewoo, a 50-50 joint venture with General Motors Corp. of the United States, the largest car maker in South Korea, replacing Hyundai, the officials said.

Kia Motor Co., the No. 3 manufacturer, is currently building a new plant capable of producing 150,000 cars in 1989 and 300,000 cars in 1991, they said. The expansion will boost Kia’s total capacity to 650,000.

Ssangyong Motor Co., which specializes in ″Korando″ jeeps, plans to enter the passenger car market by 1993 under a possible technical tieup with Renault of France, the officials said.

Ssangyong Motor, owned by the Ssangyong group, one of the largest conglomerates in South Korea, plans to produce 200,000 cars by 1993 and increase the capacity to 400,000 by 1997, they said.

Most of the production would be exported, they said.

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