Foreign automakers can import their small cars into Korea, but without city-car certification they must compete against homegrown models that meet the requirements and entice buyers with many government incentives.
Officially they’re separate companies, but group Chairman Chung Mong-koo has Hyundai and Kia working closely in concert as he looks to maximize efficiencies and continue to move the two up the world rankings of biggest and best-loved brands.
Anger over the Hyundai chairman’s Gangnam real-estate splurge seemingly was outweighed by the more than $25,000 in higher wages and added bonuses for every fulltime worker. Analysts who were skeptical but not publicly critical of the Gangnam deal now are saying it was a brilliant, forward-thinking move.
Should Hyundai’s labor costs go up inordinately by accepting the union’s wage-recalculation demand, suppliers would be squeezed to cut their margins and they would do likewise with their own smaller suppliers of parts, materials and services.