Usually, we are not big on COTY’s, but this one is too good to pass up. According to lore, which is sometimes parroted in the comments at TTAC, there is mutual hate between Koreans and Japanese. This did not stop Korean journalists from crowning a Japanese car as Korea’s Car of the year: The Toyota Camry. This was so momentous that Toyota Korea president Hisao Nakabayashi broke into tears when the award was presented at a Seoul hotel. (Read More…)
GM wants to thin out its South Korean workforce while shifting production to Europe’s higher-wage locations. Korean unions already see it as a declaration of war. (Read More…)
Labor leaders in South Korea are scrambling to convince GM to retain production of the Chevrolet Cruze in South Korea, though GM says that the move to 5 global facilities is a done deal.
The EU sent a warning shot across the bow of protectionist France. Brussels refused France’s request to monitor car imports from South Korea. According to the Wall Street Journal, import surveillance could have been Europe’s first step toward blocking or reversing tariff cuts instated by a free trade deal between the EU and Korea. (Read More…)
Pretty much most of the world’s large automakers plan a commercial launch of fuel cell vehicles in 2015, Hyundai even earlier. One of the hot spots could be Scandinavia. At the end of a month-long hydrogen-powered tour through Europe, Toyota, Nissan, Honda and Hyundai signed an agreement to jointly promote fuel cell vehicles in Norway, Sweden, Iceland and Denmark. (Read More…)
Less than a year ago, the Tokyo automotive press corps was summoned to Kyushu, the southernmost of the four main Japanese islands to visit a Nissan plant. Nobody knew why, until Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn had one of his trademark impromptu outbursts. He called the exchange rate “abnormal,” several times, until everybody got it. He threatened several times that Nissan and most of the Japanese industry would pack up and leave, and delivered an ultimatum: “If six months down the road we are still in this situation, then this will provoke a rethinking of our industrial strategy.” (Read More…)
At home, GM is at peace with the unions, benefits of having the UAW as a major shareholder. Abroad, GM Europe has been in a low intensity conflict with the European unions that oppose cuts at Opel. Now, a labor conflict flares up in an unexpected part of the world: Korea. (Read More…)
Korea’s Samsung, better known for flat panel TVs, Galaxy smart phones and other gadgetry, wants its name removed from cars produced by Renault in Korea. “We want to take our brand ‘Samsung’ out of Renault Samsung since we don’t have anything to do with the car sales,” a Samsung executive told The Korea Herald.
Nothing doing, replied a Renault spokesman: (Read More…)
Despite an explicit suggestion from Opel’s own CEO that Chevrolet cars could be built in European Opel plants, GM Korea has shut the door on such an idea.
BMW turns more and more into the world’s purveyor of engines. If recent talks are successful, BMW motors could power Hyundai cars. This according to a report in Germany’s industry publication Automobil Produktion.
The magazine reports that Chung Eui-Sun, Vice-Chairman of Hyundai Motor Company and only son of und Hyundai CEO Chung Mong-Koo, has been in Munich to start the talks. (Read More…)
Is this another “senseless provocation” by “imperialist American dogs“, or do Koreans really want to buy the Chevrolet Corvette?