Vince Courtenay


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

Strikes Fail to Derail Hyundai Domestic, Export Sales 
Analysts note the partial strikes likely will not affect export sales for a few more weeks until current inventory works its way through the system and shortfalls begin to show up.
Kia Releases Photos of New B-Segment Concept Vehicle
The Niro was designed at the Korean auto maker’s Frankfurt design studio, virtually adjacent to the venue for the Frankfurt auto show, where it makes its world debut Sept. 10.
No Relief From Partial Strikes for Hyundai 
Korea’s national parts-suppliers group has issued a public letter denouncing the Korea Metal Workers Union branches at Hyundai-Kia for staging the strike actions, which it says could cost Tier 1 companies 79.5 billion won in daily sales.
Kia Union to Join Hyundai Workers in Friday Strike Actions 
After a short break following last week’s 1-day partial strikes, Kia’s union struck for eight hours Thursday (Korea time) spread across two shifts, and will join Hyundai workers in partial strikes Friday totaling nine hours.
China’s FAW Agrees to Build Auto Plant in North Korea
The country’s only vehile factory built a token number of compact sedans and other vehicles under license annually. Last November, the company said it was looking to sell the facility due to disappointing profits.
Latest Hyundai Labor Talks Stall; Partial Strikes to Resume in Korea 
Despite media speculation Hyundai is reacting to the strike action by making plans to boost overseas output, one analyst says the auto maker’s expansion strategy is not connected to the labor situation in Korea.
Strikes Slash Hyundai 2013 Output by 102,000 Units 
Production losses dating back to April are the highest from a strike action the auto maker has ever sustained within one year.
Hyundai, Union Prepare to Formally Resume Bargaining 
Hyundai management will meet Aug. 27 with negotiators from the union. This follows partial strikes of four hours on each of two shifts on Aug. 23 and Aug. 26.
VW Korea Managing Director Jumps to Renault Samsung 
Some analysts think Park may have left for the same reason as other VW Korea executives: frustration with senior administrators from Germany who allegedly are interfering with the Korean managers’ successful programs.
Renewed Hyundai Labor Talks Break Down; Union Doubles Strike Action 
The union plans to double up on partial strikes for Friday and Monday and is forbidding members to work on the two scheduled weekend shifts, ratcheting up possible lost production time to a total 48 hours.
Partial Strike Extends From Hyundai to Kia Affiliate 
Analysts say the strike action comes at a critical time for Hyundai, which last week launched sales of the much-awaited restyled new Avante (Elantra), consistently the brand’s top-selling model.
Strike Cuts Hyundai Output Ahead of Reopened Talks 
Union officials vow strike action will continue unless the auto maker presents a comprehensive proposal addressing wages, job security and other issues. Hyundai already has said the current demands are excessive and cannot be met.
Hyundai Union to Stage Partial Strikes This Week 
Some analysts believe the union will try to wind up labor talks with the company before the annual Chuseok holiday begins Sept. 17, but union sources say negotiations will continue until a satisfactory agreement is reached.
Kia to Show Off Picanto LPG
The new model is expected to account for up to 7% of the car’s sales, with availability set for seven European countries.
Hyundai CEO Asks Union to Resume Contract Talks
Despite seeking resumption of bargaining, a union source says Yoon Gap-Han does not indicate the auto maker is willing to meet any of the union’s demands.
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