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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.