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Hyundai to slash domestic output amid global slump

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[January 12, 2009]  SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- Hyundai Motor Co., South Korea's largest automaker, will slash production between 25 percent and 30 percent at its domestic plants during the first quarter amid falling global demand for vehicles, the company said Monday.

The cut will mostly affect larger vehicles, especially SUVs. Hyundai plans to increase output of small cars as demand for fuel-efficient models remains strong, company spokeswoman Song Mee-young said.

InsuranceHyundai manufactured about 450,000 vehicles domestically during the first quarter last year, she said.

The decision was made Friday as a result of a meeting between management and labor on the company's production schedule for the quarter, she said.

Hyundai, which along with affiliate Kia Motors Corp. forms the world's fifth-largest automotive group, exports about 60 percent of its domestic production.

Global automakers have slashed output to cope with a drop-off in demand as a result of the global financial crisis and ensuing economic slowdown.

Hyundai shares fell 3.3 percent to close at 45,150 won ($33.24 cents) Monday.

[Associated Press]

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



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