Car output in S. Korea falls to lowest in 13 months in Sept.

SEOUL, Oct. 10 (Yonhap) -- Vehicle output in South Korea fell to its lowest level in 13 months in September due to reduced working days and partial strikes of two major carmakers, government data showed Thursday.

Hyundai Motor Co., South Korea's largest carmaker, and four other automakers, produced a combined 287,978 units in September, down 16.2 percent from a year earlier, according to the data by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

It marked the lowest monthly production since August last year when car output stood at 237,077 units due to strikes, the data showed.

The number of working days in September declined due to the three-day Chuseok holiday, the Korean equivalent of Thanksgiving.

Hyundai's car output dropped 22.6 percent on-year to 115,106 units in September, while that of Hyundai's smaller sister company Kia Motors Corp. fell 18.6 percent on-year to 90,511 units.

Last month, union members of Hyundai and Kia endorsed separate wage deals after staging days of partial strikes that cost the two carmakers combined 1.4 trillion won (US$1.3 billion) in lost production.

Hyundai and Kia are the two major flagship units of Hyundai Motor Group, the world's fifth-largest automaker.

Output of GM Korea Co., the local unit of U.S. automaker General Motors Co., and Renault Samsung Motors, the local unit of French automaker Renault SA, fell 5 percent and 17 percent, respectively, in the cited period.

Meanwhile, Ssangyong Motor, the local unit of Indian sport utility vehicle maker Mahindra