Output and exports of automobiles manufactured by South Korean automakers were expected to grow at a slower pace in 2012 than this year due to global economic slowdown, a government report showed Thursday.
The nation's five automakers were expected to produce 4.7 million vehicles at domestic plants in 2012, up 3.1 percent from the estimated 4.56 million units for this year, the Ministry of Knowledge Economy said in a report, citing data from the Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association (KAMA).
The expected 2012 growth was lower than the estimated 6.7 percent on-year expansion for 2011 as well as the 21.6 percent surge tallied in 2010.
Automobiles manufactured at overseas plants were predicted to reach 3.35 million units in 2012, up 9.8 percent from the estimated 3.05 million units for 2011, but next year's growth was slower than 17.1 percent estimated for this year, according to the report.
"The global economy showed a temporary recovery after the 2008 global financial crisis, but uncertainties over the economic conditions for 2012 are growing due to the possibility for deeper European fiscal crisis and the possible economic slowdown in major advanced nations," the ministry said.
The ministry noted that the nation's auto industry was expected to continue its growth trend next year helped by growing demand from emerging economies, but it predicted the slower growth due to unstable external conditions.
The combined car exports by local manufacturers were forecast to grow 3.9 percent on-year to reach 3.2 million units in 2012, lower than the estimated 11.1 percent on-year expansion for 2011, according to the report.
Domestic sales would likely increase 2.8 percent on-year to 1. 64 million units in 2012 helped by robust demand for imported vehicles, of which the local sales were expected to reach a record high of 140,000 units, up 21.7 percent from a year before.