UPDATE 1-SAfrica autoworkers, firms in deal to end strike


* Strike cuts production by about 17,000 vehicles

* Carmakers hit included Toyota, Ford, GM, BMW and Daimler

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JOHANNESBURG, Aug 20 (Reuters) - South African automobile manufacturers and a union representing thousands of auto workers have reached a deal on wages, ending a costly eight-day strike, employers' body AMEO said on Friday.

The Automobile Manufacturers Employers Organisation said it and union Numsa signed a wage agreement on Friday. The three-year deal will see workers getting a 10 percent increase this year, and 9 percent in the next two years.

The unions were seeking 15 percent wage hikes, more than triple the country's inflation rate.

The strike led to lost production of about 17,000 vehicles, the group said. South Africa's auto industry, which the industry said accounts for about 6 percent to 7 percent of the country's GDP, produces about 420,000 vehicles a year.

About half of South Africa's auto production is exported to other African states, Europe and North America.

The strike hit companies including Toyota , Ford , Volkswagen , General Motors [GM.UL], Nissan , BMW and Daimler .

The strike has not stood out in the global context because workers in several major markets have sought wage hikes, feeling they have leverage after carmakers slashed personnel during the global financial crisis and are scrambling to man assembly floors now that demand has picked up, analysts said. (Reporting by Marius Bosch and Jon Herskovitz; editing by Simon Jessop)



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