Vince Courtenay


Vince covers South Korea and other markets in the Asia/Pacific region.

Hyundai, Workers Union Reach Second Wage Deal
Despite the agreement being reached during the day shift, workers on the afternoon shift walked off the job for an additional six hours. The tentative agreement will go to union members for a ratification vote Jan. 15.
GM Korea Union Accepts New Wage; Hyundai, Kia Still in Limbo
A tentative agreement had been reached in the 25th round of negotiations Dec. 30. The company did not report production losses caused by a series of partial strikes that occurred last year.
Hyundai Workers Back on Job But Threaten Strike
The president of the Korea Metal Workers Union’s Hyundai branch issued a statement saying the company has not offered a wage package better than the one the union rejected in late December and said partial strikes would resume beginning Thursday.
Hyundai Workers in Korea to Vote on Contract Offer
Hyundai is under duress of strike action at a time when it has a vital new model, the Kona compact CUV being introduced in the U.S. and Europe, and is suffering huge sales drops in China.
Korean Automakers Endure Stormy Labor Relations
If the union wins the same wage increase from GM Korea as it seeks from Hyundai and Kia, analysts believe, it will push GM’s strategic planners to look for ways to cut the money-losing, strike-prone subsidiary loose from the parent company’s portfolio.
Opel Import Cutbacks Latest Dilemma for GM Korea
On learning of Opel’s plan to drastically cut imports, leaders of the GM Korea branch of the Korean Metal Workers Union went to news media encouraging them to write articles demanding the company pledge to not cut production volumes.
Local Leaders Rally Support for Embattled GM Korea
To many, the outpouring of support for the U.S.-owned company is reminiscent of the Korean economic crisis of the late 1990s, when citizens donated family gold jewelry and other precious metals to help refill their nation’s empty coffers.
Korea’s No.4 Automaker Ssangyong Eyeing U.S. Market
Ssangyong Chairman Pawan Goenka is quoted as saying that once the board approves the investment plan it will take 3½ years to enter the U.S. market. That would occur in 2020, when Ssangyong plans to unveil an all-electric SUV, or 2021.
GM Korea Chief Mum on Embattled Automaker’s Future
GM Korea President Kaher Kazem’s failing to directly respond to specific questions about a possible pullout has only intensified speculation that GM indeed may decide to withdraw its operations if analysis indicates recovery is not possible, some analysts believe.
Ssangyong Abandons Plans for China Joint Venture
A Ssangyong spokesman says changes in laws governing foreign automakers’ investments and pending environmental regulations are factors, as is the impact of China’s ongoing boycott of Korean-made products and services.
Union Chiefs Fear New CEO May Pull Plug on GM Korea 4
Short of boosting production to optimum levels by assigning models built elsewhere to GM Korea’s underutilized, high-cost plants, the chances of realizing a profit based on the company’s current performance are considered remote.
Audi, VW Mount Korea Comeback as Dieselgate Fades
Most of the basic Audi and VW models whose sales in Korea were banned in July 2016 have completed recall requirements and are ready to return to market. Several new models have met emissions tests and new, experienced leadership is heading the company.
Kia Suspends Overtime in Korea; Strikes Hit GM Korea
The Korea Metal Workers Union is making the same wage demands at GM Korea, Kia and its Hyundai affiliate, with negotiations on hold at Hyundai.
Big 3 Korean Automakers, Unions Deadlocked on Wages 4
The unions at Hyundai, Kia and GM Korea all are affiliated with the militant Korean Metal Workers Union. All three automakers are being pressed for the same wage and similar bonus demands the KMWU central hierarchy is dictating.
GM Says It’s Not Pulling Out of South Korea
GM Korea’s new CEO points out the company’s role as one of the most vital design, engineering and manufacturing bases in GM’s global operations.


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