Research carried on the www.just-auto.com website indicates that the Korean auto industry, reeling under the impact of recession, is now coming back. However, the industry is also coming increasingly under foreign control according to the Knibb Gormezano and Partners report.

The Korean vehicle manufacturers have in fact managed to regain all the ground lost over the 1997/98 period; posting a new record for output of over 2.8 million units in 1999. Hyundai and Kia accounted for over two-thirds of this total and even beleaguered Daewoo managed an output of over three-quarters of a million units in 1999. The industry has been undergoing a wide-ranging restructuring, especially within its component supply sector. No fewer than forty new foreign joint ventures have been formed over the last 2-3 years as overseas companies took advantage of the weakened position of their Korean counterparts.

www.just-auto.com Managing Editor, David Leggett, commented: "The collapse of the won has led to a massive export drive and the Korean auto industry remains a force in global terms. Nevertheless, it is a fact that ownership is changing and foreign involvement in Korea's auto sector is growing -- witness Ford getting control of Daewoo. There have already been signs of a backlash against that and more trouble from Korea's labour unions cannot be ruled out."

The full article is available at: www.just-auto.com/features_detail.asp?art=243

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