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GM Korea’s CEO admits closure rumor at Assembly

Oct 24,2017
The head of General Motors’ Korean operations, speaking during a parliamentary audit session Monday, didn’t deny speculation that the U.S. carmaker may withdraw from Korea due to weak sales.

At the audit, GM Korea President and Chief Executive Kaher Kazem repeatedly said he will do his best to put the Korean unit’s business back on track without dismissing the decade-long rumors.

Repeatedly asked if there was a possibility of the U.S. auto giant’s exit from Korea, he said GM Korea’s executives and employees are doing their best to normalize operations and to develop a sustainable business model in the country.

His direct quotes were not available for this article.

GM Korea marked its 15th year doing business in Asia’s fourth-biggest economy Oct. 16 amid growing concerns that it may opt to leave the country entirely due to poor performance and high labor costs.

The company and its union have yet to finish this year’s wage negotiations, which have been suspended until a new union leadership is elected in mid-November.

In the January-September period, GM Korea’s domestic car sales plunged 20 percent to 102,504 units and exports also fell 2.3 percent on-year to 299,476.

GM is widely expected to restructure its operations here to reduce net losses. Possible restructuring measures include the sale of some of its domestic plants and job cuts.

In Korea, GM has four plants, a design center, a technical center and a test ground for new vehicles. Yonhap