Category: Korea

By on September 5, 2017

hyundai-sonata-eco-grille

Hyundai Motor Co. is squabbling with its Chinese partner, BAIC Motor, over efforts to reduce supplier costs. The automaker has already faced a myriad of problems with its Korean workforce and witnessed reduced volume in both China and North America this year.

However, its newest problem in the Far East isn’t simply a matter of tweaking its lineup. The issue also has political undertones as the North Korean missile crisis has pitted Beijing and Seoul at odds with each other. Read More >

By on August 31, 2017

kia logo emblem

Seoul Central District Court ruled against Kia Motors on Thursday, ordering the automaker to pay around 420 billion won, or $374 million, in unpaid wages. Kia employees first filed an initial lawsuit in 2011, claiming a 659 billion won wage disparity, following it up with an additional suit in 2014.

However, the automaker claims the final cost will be closer to 1 trillion won, or about $890 million, and could result in a third-quarter operating loss. Interestingly, this is roughly the same amount workers demanded over their six-year legal dispute (after interest).

“The current operational situation is such that the ruling amount is [difficult] to bear,” Kia said in a statement. Read More >

By on June 2, 2017

Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group - Tucson and Forte, Images: Hyundai & KiaMay 2017 was not a particularly healthy sales month for either of South Korea’s two major automakers in the United States. Including Hyundai’s Genesis spinoff brand, the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group declined 12 percent, year-over-year — a loss of more than 15,000 sales for the trio of Korean brands compared with May 2016.

Korea’s U.S. auto market share thus fell to 7.8 percent in May 2017, a drop of a full percentage point. In a market that’s seen sales fall 2 percent overall through the first five months of 2017, total Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group sales are down 7 percent following record annual volume in 2016.

Hyundai and Kia both underperformed the market in May, just as they’re both underperforming the market through the first five months of 2017. But by an altogether different standard, one member of the group will be pleased with May’s U.S. sales results.

In May 2017, for the first time in the brands’ U.S. sales history, Kia sold more new vehicles than Hyundai. Kia outsold Hyundai. Yes, it was the first time. But it surely won’t be the last. Read More >

By on May 22, 2017

hyundai-kona-teaser

Hyundai, which found itself lagging behind its rivals in the lucrative crossover and SUV market and figured it should do something about it, is having trouble getting its desperately needed subcompact crossover into production.

The 2018 Kona, which we’ve so far seen only a portion of, is part of a better-late-than-never product push by the Korean automaker. A new small crossover was needed to to mine a growing segment and boost Hyundai’s flagging U.S. sales, but the reality of building cars in Korea has thrown up a roadblock. Read More >

By on May 16, 2017

2016 Hyundai Sonata, Image: Hyundai Motor America

He lost his job for it, but Kim Gwang-ho, a 25-year Hyundai veteran at the automaker’s Seoul, South Korea facility, knew he needed to speak out.

The engineer blew the whistle on his employer, reporting the automaker to both South Korean and American officials after uncovering evidence Hyundai was covering up a defect in several of its models. Kim even published internal documents to back up his claim.

Kim, 55, was fired from his job, but authorities took note. As a result, a further 240,000 vehicles — totaling 12 models — have been added to a recall already 1.4 million strong. Read More >

By on March 23, 2017

Hyundai Logo. Picture courtesy of autoblog.com

Hyundai Motor Group has received added attention from investors this week over expectations that the family-run business could undergo a major reorganization into a public holding, with the same separate, multifaceted structure as Hyundai Heavy Industries.

News spread that Hyundai Motor could be preparing a restructuring campaign after it issued a disclosure statement last Friday that explained it would be charging Hyundai Steel and Hyundai Glovis Co. 13.9 billion won ($12.4 million) for the use of the Hyundai brand name. This is the first time the company has ever collected from either over the use of its corporate trademark.  Read More >

By on March 23, 2017

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

General Motors began taking pre-orders in South Korea last week for the all-electric Bolt. In under two hours, the entirety of the first shipment was spoken for. By the end of that day, March 17, more than 2,000 additional orders had been placed, proving — once again — that GM is killing it in Asia and Koreans are tech-obsessed.

Incredibly, most of those customers hadn’t even laid eyes on the vehicle. The Bolt doesn’t make its official Korean debut until March 30th, when it will appear at the 2017 Seoul Motor Show.  Read More >

By on January 8, 2017

2018 Kia Stinger

Kia uses the more accurate and less offensive term “fastback sports sedan” to describe the new Stinger, unveiled tonight ahead of the 2017 North American International Auto Show. Kia will offer the rear-drive, coupe-like 2018 Stinger liftback with turbocharged four-cylinder and V6 powerplants, and optional all-wheel drive.

Read More >

By on August 2, 2016

2017 Volkswagen Tiguan

Consider it a low point in German-Korean relations.

Thanks to the diesel emissions scandal, South Korea just decertified about 68 percent of all Volkswagen, Bentley and Audi vehicles sold in that country over the past decade, Reuters reports. The country also revoked the certification of 80 model variants and leveled a large fine, meaning VW’s one-time Asian market breakthrough is truly busted. Read More >

By on July 22, 2016

2015 Volkswagen Tiguan

Volkswagen’s Korean sales slump just became a sales cliff leading to the Challenger Deep.

The embattled automaker suspended sales of most of its models in the Asian country ahead of a environmental review that could lead to a sales ban, Reuters reports. Read More >

By on July 12, 2016

2017 Elantra Sport

Hyundai set out to make its Elantra hotter, and it’s happy to report that the sedan’s output now tops 200 horsepower in newly unveiled Sport form.

The 2017 Elantra Sport brings a third engine choice to the model lineup — a turbocharged 1.6-liter direct-injection four-cylinder making “more than” 200 horsepower and 190 pounds-feet of torque, according to the automaker. Read More >

By on July 6, 2016

lawsuit

There’s a good chance that the former managing director of Audi Volkswagen Korea will soon find himself pleading for a sip of Coke during the 11th hour of a grueling interrogation process.

Park Dong-hoon, now CEO of Renault Samsung Motors, was recently identified as a suspect in South Korea’s investigation into the Volkswagen emissions-cheating scandal, according to Wards Auto. That means a date with the “VIP Suite.” Read More >

By on June 20, 2016

Tesla Supercharger With Model S At Tesla Dealership

South Koreans are used to having a bunch of Americans hanging around, but the arrival of a group of Tesla employees won’t be welcomed by executives at Hyundai.

Tesla wants into the South Korean marketplace, and just posted job listings for sales and engineering positions in the Asian country, Bloomberg reports. Already registered in South Korea, the automaker plans to open up an office in Seoul and hire a recruiter based out of Japan. Read More >

By on May 16, 2016

2014_Nissan_Qashqai_Right_Side

It’s nowhere near the scale of the Volkswagen debacle, but Nissan is in hot water with the South Korean government over dodgy emissions from its diesel SUV.

That country’s environment ministry accuses Nissan of using a “defeat device” to disable the emissions controls on its UK-built Qashqai SUV, Automotive News reports. Read More >

By on May 7, 2016

2017 Elantra Eco

Hyundai sent its newly redesigned compact away for a lifestyle change, and it returned as the fuel-sipping Elantra Eco.

Sporting a new drivetrain and an EPA-estimated highway fuel economy rating of 40 miles per gallon, the 2017 Elantra Eco retails for $21,485 (after freight). City and combined ratings are 32 and 35 mpg, respectively.

The 2017 Elantra Limited we tested was no gas guzzler, often surpassing its 37 mpg highway rating, but the new Eco clearly has its competitors’ 40-plus mpg ratings in its sights. It’s also possible that Hyundai still has some lingering guilt over the not-yet-forgotten gas mileage scandal of four years ago. Read More >

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