Vince Courtenay


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

Generous Subsidies Generate EV Appeal in South Korea
As EV sales mount, Korea consumers will have more choices. Virtually all of the 22 car brands imported into the country offer an electrified vehicle.
BMW Reigns Supreme Over South Korean Import Market
Last year was the German marque’s best ever in Korea, with sales of 33,066 vehicles, accounting for more than 21% of all new import registrations. Including the Mini brand, the automaker’s share stood at 25%.
Hyundai Mum on Reports of Fourth Plant for China 
The Beijing Hyundai JV already has three plants in Beijing operating at combined maximum capacity of about 1.1 million units.
Ssangyong Eyes U.S. Market as Comeback Continues
A spokesman confirms the automaker plans a product portfolio for North America and has hired a consultant to help it find a more palatable corporate and brand name. The aim is to describe a product with quality, vigor and a long future.
Sales, Production Show GM Korea Too Efficient to Fail 
A spokesman denies GM Korea is being downsized or will see production transferred to China, saying instead that the growing Chinese market in fact means opportunity in the form of increased CKD exports.
Kia, Union Reach Tentative Wage, Benefits Agreement 
A source says the partial strikes at Kia have resulted in lost production time of 88.7 hours, equivalent to 23,737 units valued at 413 billion won ($381.5 million).
Hyundai Reaches Tentative Deal With Union; Kia Still in Talks 
The agreement was struck today during the 26th round of negotiations, even as workers were staging partial strikes at the auto maker’s four assembly plants in the country.
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.
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