Vince Courtenay


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

Korea Hoping Latest New-Car Tax Cut Pays Dividends 
Analysts and government regulators think sales suffered when the consumption-tax rate returned to 5% in January. It was rolled back again to 3.5% this month and will stay that way through June.
Kia Unveils Optima Sportswagon Tourer Ahead of Geneva
The new model fills white space in the Korean automaker’s lineup and gives it an entry in the D-segment’s biggest sector.
Ssangyong Teases Long-Body Version of Popular Tivoli
The Tivoli has resuscitated the troubled Korean affiliate of Indian automaker Mahindra & Mahindra.
Top Management Reshuffled at GM Korea, GM China
Marc Comeau, vice president-vehicle sales, service and marketing at GM Korea since 2013, assumes the same title with GM China. He is replaced in Korea by Dale Sullivan, former regional director of the Chevrolet West Region in the U.S.
Hyundai Doubles Output of New Genesis Luxury Model
The union’s OK to doubling output to 32,000 units per year is a labor-management breakthrough; analysts and company officials believe it provides a new production flexibility Hyundai has long lacked.
New Gearbox Key to Kia’s K7 Midsize Premium Sedan
The K7 will debut the automaker’s all-new 8-speed front-wheel-drive transmission that replaces previously applied Bosch and Delphi gearboxes.
Kia Workers OK Wage Deal After 5 Strike-Free Months
A Kia spokesman says the automaker is pleased to have reached the accord after 16 bargaining sessions without losing any production to strikes. Workers had approved strike action Sept. 16, but union leadership never called for a walkout.
Hyundai Says Ioniq World-Beater in Fuel Efficiency 
The automaker claims the car achieves fuel efficiency of 52.7 mpg using a 1.6L Kappa GDi engine developed specifically for hybrid applications and mated to a permanent-magnet electric motor powered by a lithium-ion-polymer battery pack.
Hyundai Union Wage Deal Short of Labor’s Wants
The monthly salary increase is less than 53% of the KMWU’s intention, as well as less than what the union was able to secure in its 2014 wage agreement.
Short Hyundai Strike Takes Unusual Political Tack
Before firebrand Park Yoo Ki’s election in November, presidents of the Hyundai branch of the Korean Confederation of Trade Workers had refused to join in nationwide strikes of a political nature, abiding instead by laws allowing walkouts only over wages and working conditions.
Union Deal Brings Elusive Labor Peace to Ssangyong
In addition to restoring the jobs of workers who took part in the illegal 2009 strike, the automaker is forgiving the workers for damage caused to its main assembly plant during the 2-month-long sit-in.
Hyundai Shows Off New Genesis Flagship
The new model is slightly larger than its predecessor and offers a choice of three engines and a host of safety equipment.
Hyundai Makes Green Splash With All-New Ioniq PHEV
Hyundai has pledged to boost average fuel economy of all its vehicles 20% by 2020, when it plans worldwide sales of 12 hybrids, six plug-in hybrids, two all-electric and two hydrogen-fuel-cell models.
Volkswagen, Audi Forgo Profits to Recover in Korea
VW reinstated or extended 5-year, no-interest financing on most models and gave cash-paying customers discounts equal to savings under the interest-free loans. As a result, November sales were up 377% from the 947 vehicles sold in October.
Storm Clouds Gather Over Hyundai as Fiery Union Chief Re-Takes Helm
Labor talks are on the back burner at Hyundai as a fiery former union chief returns to lead the rank-and-file. No negotiations have taken place since late September to hammer out a new contract for the Korean auto workers.

Apr 29, 2016

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