General Motors is pulling manufacturing out of Korea, Reuters reported Monday. Currently, one-fifth of all GM cars are built in Korea and more than 80 percent of them are exported.
GM took over failed automaker Daewoo in 2002, and over the next 10 years, Korea established itself as one of GM's main production hubs. But Reuters cited sources in GM as saying rising labor costs, militant unions and political tensions in the region prompted the automaker to shift production of newer models elsewhere.
Late last year, GM told its Korean labor union that it would not produce the next generation Chevrolet Cruze here and will shift a large chunk of production of the Opel Mokka to Spain from the second half of 2014.
The union officially says that is a bluff designed to prevent workers seeking further pay hikes, but it suspects that GM may really be planning to shut down all its facilities in Korea, according to Reuters.