Hyundai Motor said on Wednesday it has suffered almost $US600 million in lost exports due to partial strikes that began in late June, Reuters reported.

Reuters noted that labour relations at Hyundai Motor, 10% owned by DaimlerChrysler, are monitored by investors as cars are one of South Korea's top exports and have propped up its economy.

"Partial strikes from June 20 to late July have cost 60,100 vehicles in lost exports, equivalent to $580 million," Hyundai Motor spokesman Jake Jang told Reuters.
Sales in the key US market and Europe, which account for 66% of total sales, could face serious difficulties should the partial strikes drag on through August, he added, according to the news agency.

Hyundai's 39,000-strong union has been demanding an 11.1% wage hike, equivalent to around 125,000 won a month, plus a five-day work week from the current five-and-a-half days, Reuters said.

According to Reuters, unionised workers last week rejected Hyundai's offer of a 9.4% wage hike.

Reuters said that unionised workers represent about 80% of Hyundai's total work force and produce around 6,000 vehicles per day.

Union and management officials are set to hold another round of wage talks on August 4, Hyundai Motor said, according to Reuters.