Vince Courtenay


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

Construction Done, Kia Mexico Plant Enters Next Phase
The new operation is expected to launch with its full 300,000-unit-per-year capability. First model off the line will be the Forte/Cerato compact sedan.
Kia Niro Hybrid SUV Coming in Early 2016
The Niro will be powered by a 1.6L Kappa GDI 105 hp engine, supplemented by a 32 kW electric motor and 1.56 kWh lithium-polymer battery pack.
Hyundai’s Genesis Brand Puts Bentley Designer at Helm
The charismatic and feisty designer who slammed the Lincoln Continental as an apparent Bentley knockoff, Luc Donckerwolke also was responsible for the Audi R8 Le Mans and Lamborghini Murcielago.
Hyundai Talks Stall as Union Heads Toward Election
The union election, smack in the middle of wage negotiations, will drive this year’s already protracted bargaining session into a seventh month.
Automotive Outsider Takes Reins at GM Korea
New CEO James Woo Kim joined GM Korea four months ago and is widely known in business circles, particularly in Seoul, where he is the chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in Korea.
Perfect Black: Chevrolets Henry Ford Might Admire
With the industry offering a plethora of dazzling, pleasing colors to appeal to everyone’s tastes, GM Korea has decided to offer special editions of four of its top Chevrolet models in dazzling black topcoat, including the wheels.
Assembly Lines Moving as Hyundai Wage Talks Drag On 
Partial strikes Sept. 23-25 cost Hyundai 10,900 units of production worth some 230 billion won. Workers resumed regular shifts Sept. 30 after the annual Chuseok holiday and union officials decided Oct. 1 to continue negotiating without strike action.
VW/Audi Issues Apology in Korea; Lawmakers, Lawyers Show No Mercy
Protesters representing the Korea Federation for Environmental Movements have taken to Seoul streets wearing Pinocchio masks with a VW symbol on the end of the puppet’s long nose.
Hyundai Makes Second Wage Offer
Union sources say the offer includes a 98,000-won monthly salary increase, a one-time bonus of 8.9 million won and a colossal bonus of 4.5 months’ salary.
VW Scandal Rocks Korea; Local CEO Called to Hearings 
Ministry of Environment officials have told Korean media that if the tests prove Audi and VW have sold vehicles that do not meet their stated emissions, it may ban the sale of all of those vehicles.
Neither Side Yielding as Hyundai Workers Strike
Despite losing 26 hours of production heading into the Chuseok national holiday, Hyundai management continues to offer just half of the union’s monthly wage-increase demand.
Hyundai, Kia Workers Set to Stage Partial Strikes
Unionized workers have voted to strike at all six of Hyundai’s vehicle plants in Korea for four hours Wednesday, followed by 6-hour walkouts both Thursday and Friday.
GM Raises Korea Stakes With Launch of Trax Diesel
Combined with strong sales of the just-released Chevrolet Impala that is imported from parent General Motors’ Hamtramck, MI, plant in the U.S., GM Korea CEO Sergio Rocha is confident of capturing 10% of the Korean market this year.
Hyundai’s Korean Workers’ Union Seeks Arbitration 
During the requested 10-day arbitration period the union will ask its members to vote on approving strike action.
Chevy Spark a Conquest for GM India Over GM Korea
Winning the lion’s share of Spark production underscores GM India’s growing role as an export hub. Besides labor costs that are lower than GM Korea’s, the automaker’s Indian subsidiary also has more unused plant capacity.

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