China is now the 4th biggest auto producer and the 3rd biggest ship builder in the world. China is also moving into civil aviation with the ARJ-21 regional airliner. While a lot of international focus has been on China's booming electronics and IT industries, China's heavy industries are also doing very well.
China outstrips Korean car production
China beat Korea in automobile production for a second straight year in 2003, becoming the world's fourth-largest car-producing nation, the Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association said yesterday.
China's rapid rise to the status of carmaking powerhouse poses a significant threat to the Korean automotive industry, which accounted for nearly 30 percent of Korea's exports last year.
According to a report by the association, Korea was sixth in the global output ranking for 2003 by producing 3.18 million vehicles, including 2.77 million passenger cars. In 2002, Korean carmakers rolled out 3.14 million units, accounting for 5.5 percent of global output.
Vehicles built overseas were not included in the data, the association said.
By contrast, China moved up in the ranking one notch to fourth, expanding its production 36.7 percent year-on-year to 4.44 million vehicles last year.
In 1997, when Korea was the world's fourth-biggest auto producing nation, China was not even on the top-10 list global automobile makers.
For 2003, the United States was No. 1 with 12.08 million vehicles made in that country, followed by Japan with 10.20 million units and Germany with 5.51 million cars. France dropped one notch to fifth with a production volume of 3.25 million vehicles.
China's advance has been spectacular, according to the association. First appearing on the top-10 list in 1998 as the 10th-biggest car-producing country, China rose to ninth the following year and eighth in 2000 and 2001.
China's auto output outstripped Korea's for the first time in 2002 by a small margin of around 100,000 vehicles. Last year, the gap widened to nearly 1.3 million units, the association said.
"China has been accelerating its auto output because major global carmakers have been scrambling to produce vehicles in that country to tap the world's fastest-growing auto market," an official at the association said.
By Kim Hyun-chul