South Korea's motor industry output growth is expected to accelerate this year, helped by steady exports and a recovery in domestic consumption, the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy said on Thursday, according to Dow Jones Newswires.

Vehicle output is likely to grow 7% this year, up sharply from the 1% growth seen in 2003, the report added.

According to Dow Jones, the ministry said it expects South Korea's vehicle exports to mark a new record high of 1.88 million units this year, up from last year's 1.816 million units.

The ministry reportedly said that General Motors affiliate GM Daewoo Auto & Technology plans to increase its exports to North America this year.

The recovery in the global economy and the improving quality of Korean vehicles would further support this year's exports, the ministry said, according to the report.

Meanwhile, vehicle sales in the local market are expected to soar 15.3% from a year ago in 2004, shifting from a contraction of 18.8% last year, the ministry reportedly said.

Dow Jones said that aggressive marketing from manufacturers and the introduction of new models will attract domestic customers back to the new vehicle market after they refrained from buying last year due to poor consumer sentiment.