Vince Courtenay


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

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.
Hyundai Chief Shakes Up Shaky Chinese Operations
New CEOs of Hyundai’s and Kia’s Chinese joint ventures take over two operations that missed their sales targets each of the year’s first six months.
Kia Releases Photos of Frankfurt-Bound ’16 Sportage
The Kia tiger grille positively identifies the Sportage front end but headlights no longer are integrated. The new frontal look is prompting comparisons to the Porsche Macan, a strong seller in Korea.
Sales Staff Protests Block Porsche Inroads in Korea 
Union members in natty business suits have been demonstrating outside Porsche distributor SSC’s headquarters in Seoul’s upscale Gangnam district and at the company’s other five dealerships.
Hyundai Making Foray Into High-Performance Arena
Hyundai sources say the vehicle won’t go into production but was developed to show features that could wind up in future performance cars and perhaps even in production vehicles.
Hyundai Teases Sixth-Gen Elantra Ahead of LA Show
Debuting in November at the Los Angeles auto show as a ’17-model precursor, the new Elantra’s design is tweaked to present an upscale appearance, but no details of any drivetrain changes are being revealed.
Kia Releases Rendering of Revamped Sportage
Sources say a new drivetrain option will be available with the restyled CUV, which goes on sale next year.
Imported Impala Stickers for Less in Korea Than U.S.
Despite special processing, shipping, import duties and other regulatory costs, the fullsize Chevrolet’s sticker price in Korea is at least $3,000 less than an identical car sold in the U.S. GM Korea CEO Sergio Rocha doesn’t say how it is done.
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