SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- The head of Hyundai Motor said Friday that automakers are fighting for their very existence amid the global economic crisis.
Hyundai Motor Co. Chairman Chung Mong-koo made the remarks to Kia Motors shareholders.
Chung also said that Hyundai affiliate Kia would focus on boosting sales to overcome the crisis facing the industry, which he called a "chance for innovation."
Hyundai and Kia dominate South Korea's auto industry and together form the world's fifth-largest automotive group.
Sales at both companies have fallen amid the global slump. But they are preparing for an eventual recovery by investing in fuel efficient and "eco-friendly" vehicles.
Hyundai operates a sprawling auto assembly plant in Alabama. Kia is building a plant in west Georgia.