Vince Courtenay


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

Hyundai Upbeat About New China Plant Despite Boycott
Hyundai wanted to launch the soon-to-open Chongqing plant three years ago. But the automaker put it on the back burner and instead built its fourth Chinese plant in Changzhou to meet government demands.
Kia Workers Latest to Authorize Strike in Korean Wage Talks
Demands for higher wages come at a time of shrinking domestic sales for Korean automakers.
Korea’s Kia Launches Stonic CUV in Home Market
Some analysts, noting Hyundai owns a 34% stake in Kia and both are controlled by Hyundai Motor Group’s senior management team, believe Kia is keeping the Stonic out of the U.S. market so as not to hamper the Kona, which launches there at year-end.
Hyundai Puts Focus on Driving Fun With i30, i30 N
Thomas Schmid, Hyundai Motor Europe’s chief operating officer, announces 30 new models and derivatives will be launched in Europe over the next five years.
Missile Dispute Shooting Down Hyundai, Kia in China
For the first six months of 2017 Hyundai and Kia’s combined global sales were down 8.7% from like-2016. Hyundai attributes the fall to nosediving sales in China, where combined deliveries by the Hyundai and Kia joint ventures were down 63% in June and were off 47% for the 6-month period.
Unionized GM Korea Employees Authorize Strike 1
Despite GM Korea suffering heavy financial losses and production and sales volumes shrinking, workers are planning to go on strike to back their demands for a monthly wage increase of 154,883 won ($133) and a bonus of five months’ pay.
GM Korea CEO Resigns Amid Tough Labor Talks, Declining Sales
The resignation and contentious labor negotiations cast a cloud over GM Korea and could be endangering its future at a GM that in recent months has shown it’s willing to shut down or sell off unprofitable global operations.
Kia Stonic Revealed as Hyundai Kona Goes on Sale 4
The Kona’s silent sales launch earlier this week may have been intentional so as not to upstage the press reveal of Hyundai affiliate Kia’s competing Stonic subcompact CUV at the automakers’ combined design and development center in Namyang, Korea.
Kia’s Stonic Breaks Cover Ahead of Korean Sales Launch
The new model joins sister brand Hyundai’s just-launched Kona in an effort to take down the runaway segment-leading Ssangyong Tivoli.
Renault Samsung Picking Up French Accent in Korea
If the Clio premium subcompact hatchback breaks cover as a Renault vehicle, analysts believe it will be the beginning of a complete conversion to the Renault brand in Korea.
Kia Readying Stonic B-Class CUV for Korea, Europe
Renderings of the Stonic depict a CUV not greatly different from the Kia K2 Cross variant of the Rio that was shown in April at the Shanghai auto show and has just gone on sale in China.
Veteran Volkswagen Designer Joins Hyundai China
The hiring of Simon Loasby brings another renowned designer into the Hyundai global design team to help the automaker break away from its lower-price mass vehicle image in its quest to become one of the world’s top-ranked brands.
Kia Sets Stinger Price in Korea; U.S., Europe Launches to Come 1
The car stickers below such key import competitors as the BMW 4-Series coupe and Audi A5 Sportback.
Korea’s Ssangyong to Sell, Build in Saudi Arabia 1
The Middle East plays a significant role in Ssangyong’s export plans. Of the 52,200 vehicles the automaker exported last year, 10,500 were shipped to markets in the region including Egypt and Iran. Ssangyong exported no vehicles to Saudi Arabia last year.
Korea Orders 240,000 Hyundai, Kia Vehicles Recalled
The Ministry has said the defects include faulty brake vacuum lines and possible defects in wheel lugnut assemblies, parking-brake alert signal systems, engine control canisters and fuel lines.


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