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Hankook, Kumho Cut Production as Demand Wanes

(Asia Pulse) Hankook Tire Co. said Thursday it has cut production as local automakers plan to suspend their plants or reduce output amid a protracted sales slump.

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Hankook Tire slashed its monthly output by 300,000 tires this month and was "considering cutting production next month, depending on market conditions," a company official said.

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Kumho Tire Co. said it plans to cut production by 100,000 tires by the end of next month.

Stung by the global economic downturn and weaker domestic consumption, South Korean automakers are shifting gears to reduce inventories.

Hyundai Motor Co., the nation’s top automaker, has reduced production of its Santa Fe and Veracruz sport-utility vehicles at its main plant by banning overtime and weekend work.

The local unit of troubled U.S. auto giant General Motors Corp. said it will halt production at its main plant from Dec. 1 to Jan. 4 next year, citing a sharp slowdown in both exports and domestic sales.

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GM Daewoo Auto & Technology Co. said its other plants will be idled for two weeks in December.

Vehicle sales in South Korea are predicted to fall 14% next year to 1.1 million units, the Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association said earlier in the day. (Tire Review/Akron)

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