Vince Courtenay


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

Hyundai Hit by New Round of Partial Strikes in Korea
The 14 partial strikes at Hyundai reportedly have caused production losses of 65,500 vehicles valued at 1.47 trillion won. The automaker’s labor troubles in Korea are mitigated by the performance of its overseas plants.
Hyundai Providing Tucson FCEVs for Korea, Australia
The paucity of recharge stations still is seen as a major problem, with only 10 available throughout Korea. The government says it will increase the number of stations to 80 by the end of 2020, and to 520 by 2030.
U.S. Exports Focus of Kia’s New Plant in Mexico
The plant was built in Mexico to take advantage of tariff-free access to U.S. and Canadian markets under NAFTA. Spokesmen confirm 80% of production is earmarked for export to the U.S. and Latin America.
Ssangyong’s Paris Concept Next-Gen Rexton SUV
Specifications have not been released, but dimensionally the concept is a little longer and wider than the current Rexton and is said to be somewhat lighter.
GM Korea Union Approves Wage Deal With 56% of Vote
The deal calls for an 80,000 won average monthly wage increase, a lump-sum 6.5 million won incentive bonus payable when the new contract is signed and a 4.5 million won performance-based bonus payable at year’s end.
GM Korea Workers Vote on New Wage Pact
Getting to the tentative agreement has been tough, company sources say. Talks began April 26, with 30 full negotiating rounds held over more than four months until the tentative deal was reached Sept. 6.
Hyundai Shows Off i30 Ahead of Paris Debut 1
In Korea the revised i30 will be offered with three new downsized turbo engines, including a diesel.
Hyundai Hints at Second-Generation i10 Small Car
The restyled and upgraded model debuts at next month’s Paris auto show, but will not go into production until late this year for a European sales launch sometime early in 2017.
Hyundai Workers Trounce Tentative Wage Pact
The Korean Metal Workers Union actively campaigned against the agreement, which failed by the largest margin in union history. Labor unrest is cited as the reason GM CEO Mary Barra canceled a planned trip to Korea.
Hyundai, Union Wage Pact Modest Settlement
The agreement calls for significantly less of a pay increase than workers were demanding.
Revamped Kia Headed for Paris Debut
Three continents contributed to the design of the new model, with an exterior from the automaker’s U.S. studio, an interior from Germany and overall product management from Korea.
Confused Koreans Have Their Say on Chevy Bolt, Volt 1
In the Korean language, V and B have a common pronunciation, and the Hangul written or printed symbols for Bolt and Volt are identical. To distinguish the two marques’ names, GM Korea is adding the English letters “EV” after the Hangul spelling of Bolt.
Travel Ban for VW-Audi Execs in Korea; Indictments Planned 2
If the three executives being questioned are indicted, they would face charges carrying a maximum 5-year prison sentence or a 30 million won fine.
Hyundai Workers in Korea Stage Partial Strike
At issue is the automaker’s efforts to implement and expand a peak-wage system that freezes and then reduces the wages of workers nearing retirement.
Korea Prosecutors Quiz Audi VW CEO, But Arrest Iffy
Sources in the prosecutor’s office say Johannes Thammer is suspected of faking emissions, NVH and fuel-efficiency test documents to win government certification for more than 80 variations of 32 basic models sold in Korea since 2009.

Nov 21, 2016

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