GM Korea Vows to Turn a Profit

  • By Ryu Jung

    October 20, 2022 13:23

    Perpetually troubled GM Korea has vowed to shift to profit as it marks its 20th anniversary. 
    GM Korea CEO Roberto Rempel promised at an event celebrating the anniversary in Changwon, South Gyeongsang Province on Wednesday that Korean operations will turn into a "profitable and sustainable business" starting next year.
    GM Korea has an annual production capacity of 500,000 cars, but last year it produced only 220,000 at an operating rate of less than 50 percent as lucrative models were being built elsewhere, and the automaker's losses since 2014 have swelled to W3.78 trillion (US$1=W1,426). 
    "We expect the next-generation global vehicle to follow the Chevrolet Trailblazer in enjoying great success around the world," Rempel said. 
    It has spent W900 billion over the last four years to transform the Changwon plant that will produce the new vehicle.  
    GM headquarters had hoped to get rid of its Korean operations as it shut factories around the globe, including an assembly plant in Gunsan, North Jeolla Province in 2018, but the government and unions resisted and extracted a promise of further investment from the American car giant in return for a lavish government bailout. 
    "As the largest foreign investor, GM has been part of the Korean economy's advancement for the last 20 years, creating jobs, producing, selling and exporting vehicles, and designing and engineering global vehicles," Rempel said. 
    He added that GM will keep working to grow business in Korea, but that labor market flexibility must be improved if sales and exports are to increase.  
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