The Associated Press is reporting that the Big 5 of South Korea, which includes Hyundai, Kia, GM Daewoo, Ssangyong and Renault Samsung Motors, surpassed 5 million units sold worldwide for the first time in 2005. The group sold a combined 5.22 million units last year, a rise of 15.6 percent over 2004’s total of 4.52 million units.
The tally includes vehicles produced in overseas assembly plants, like the new Sonata that is produced at Hyundai’s U.S. plant in Montgomery, Alabama. The country’s automotive exports grew 19.1 percent last year to 4.09 million vehicles, while the local economy consumed 1.13 million vehicles, a 4.3-percent increase that represents the first time in three years domestic sales have risen in South Korea.

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