By on May 22, 2011

Assembly lines at South Korea’s Hyundai Kia ground to a halt this weekend after the companies ran out of a needed engine parts. Production of Hyundai’s Tucson ix, Santa Fe and Veracruz and Kia’s Carnival has stopped. On Wednesday, production of most of  Hyundai’s and Kia’s cars will be affected unless the parts shortage is solved. The Korean units of GM and Renault will suffer, as well as Ssangyong. Do they all get their engines parts from Japan?

They don’t. South Korea’s Yoosung Enterprise delivers 70 percent of the piston rings used in the popular models of Hyundai and Kia, writes Reuters. Yoosung has not been hit by a tsunami, but by a good old strike. Union members occupied production lines on May 18 over disagreements on new wage and shift systems.

“Yoosung’s piston rings account for around 50 percent of the parts used in our engines,” a GM Korea spokesperson said.

“Yoosung supplies all of the camshafts used in our SM5 2.0 models. We have an inventory of four days, but a prolonged strike could affect our production,” a spokesperson for Renault Samsung Motors said.

They better settled that labor dispute. Because as this old video shows, when Korean unions strike, they strike hard.

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18 Comments on “Hyundai And Kia Run Out Of Parts...”

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    And Korea’s Unions march forward with their plan to drive more Hyundai and Kia production to the U.S.A. Way to go guys! There should be more models of those companies that I can buy and know that at least part of the profit went into an American workers pocket.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m not for unions at all.. but the video said they hadn’t been paid for 6 months. I think everyone would have been in arms long before 6 months without pay….

      • 0 avatar

        Unions did a lot of good for our country for decades. It was the great equalizer during a time when not all Americans were treated equally. Unions helped change labor laws so we don’t all work 80 hour weeks in hazardous conditions. Unions helped create and maintain the US middle class. Unions made it possible for millions of Americans to go to college so we don’t all have to work in labor intensive jobs.

        Now that Unions have made themselves somewhat obsolete, many unenlightened Americans HATE Unions without knowing what they did for our Country.

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      I don’t hate them. And with the Koreans I was only thinking of some of the labor violence that has happened in that country, of course with both sides pointing fingers at the other. Didn’t one Korean company have a labor dispute where the workers set fire to the factory?

      I didn’t mean to sound so harsh, it was before 7:30am my time when I posted and before I had my coffee. I’m actually a member of the American Federation of Teachers – a little stressed cause I don’t know if my current job will exist next year or I’ll be back in the classroom. I have the union won protection of my tenure and I really won’t be upset if I’m teaching again, it’s just one of those things where you want the answer to be known. My district is facing a $7 million shortfall.

      • 0 avatar


        My daughter is also a teacher in a neigboring district here, and that district is going through the same thing – as all school districts seem to be, regardless if the teacher has a continuing contract (tenure) or not, it doesn’t seem to matter in this twisted economy. Hang tough!

        For that matter, I get concerned about my job, too – reasonably close to retirement as I am, who knows? It works all different ways, as my company could get sold in a heartbeat and a new owner could throw all the old heads out – it’s happened before!

      • 0 avatar
        Educator(of teachers)Dan

        We actually asked about the legality of giving a retirement buy-out to older teachers but apparently New Mexico’s labor law won’t allow that sort of talk to come up. Could be worse, it could be Albuquerque a district that facing a $34 million shortfall.

      • 0 avatar

        “Albuquerque a district that facing a $34 million shortfall.”


  • avatar

    Piston ring and camshaft shortage? You have got to be kidding! Someone should tell them to just go to NAPA, Auto Zone or Advantage Auto parts like everyone else and just buy them!

    Sorry, but that’s the best I can do with what little free time I have this morning!

  • avatar

    There are other companies that make these parts, would it really be that hard to second source them? Perhaps the workers have legitimate complaints, but the manufacturers who single source parts are just setting themselves up for problems sooner or later.

  • avatar

    According to the Korean Times, Hyundai uses Yoonsung as their sole supplier for piston rings and cylinder liners on the affect vehicles.

  • avatar

    Hyundai and Kia already suffer from car availability shortages in the US, especially in the Sonata, Elantra, and Sorento models. An extended strike would only worsen an already lean situation. More people every day realize the quality and value the Hyundai and Kia products offer compared to all other auto makers, along with an extended warranty. This strike and resulting shortages is going to hurt sales. You’ve got to sell in order to make money. Maybe additional parts plants in northern Mexico would be a good strategy to follow. It will also keep the Mexicans home and employed in Mexico instead of coming over here looking for work. With the UAW actively pursuing their goal of unionizing all non-union foreign plants in the US it is just a matter of time before those will price themselves out of the market as well.

  • avatar

    Even a moron could watch that video and figure out why workers Unionize. Free enterprise is just the rich screwing the poor if you don’t have unions. Funny some folks prefer to be taken advantage of rather than organize.

    • 0 avatar


    • 0 avatar

      That looks like a lot more fun than working at a Honda factory! LOL That’s like saying that management killed that stupid suicidal bimbo that orphaned her own kids out of union brainwashing.

    • 0 avatar

      @LXbuilder: Ever consider why some people don’t want to organize?

      Maybe they don’t like having their wages ‘taxed’ by the union, only to line the pockets of the top union brass and furnish posh resorts. Or maybe they think the union’s bellicose attitude will backfire and not really protect their jobs in the end. Or maybe they already know that labor laws, safety standards, access to information, and worker mobility today all help the worker in ways unheard of a century ago.

      Amazing how all those transplant workers in the US can be so stupid as to not organize. If Bob King would only threaten their employers a little more, they might just decide to join the UAW after all! Or not.

  • avatar

    If UAW has a half of brain left and do not strike then it is once-in-a-century opportunity for Detroit 2+ to take US market back. But it is hard proposition since unions did not use their brain for decades. And why do you need functioning brain if US government and union leaders decide everything for you from day you are born?

  • avatar
    69 stang

    Unions exist today to make sure certain people get paid more and have more job security than the majority of workers. They do that by limiting membership and by buying off politicians so they write rules that require union labor. This leads to higher prices and not necessarily improved quality. Even union members understand if all of us were in unions there would be no advantage as everything would cost more so the “increased” pay would not do any good. And if everyone’s job was guaranteed we would be like many European countries defaulting on their obligations- oh yeah that is coming soon to this country.

    • 0 avatar
      Steven Lang

      That’s a narrow interpretation of what unions do.

      There are unions that put themselves above all else, including the well-being of the institution that enables their livelihood. On the flip side there are also executives in management that do the exact same thing.

      There are also unions that enable their members to have a decent wage and healthy working conditions. Much of our recent history and standard of living can be attributed to their work. There are also unions that truly work with management so that everyone involved in the company’s work (including non-union) benefit from their efforts.

      Like all things related to business… the answer as to whether a given union makes a positive tangible difference is always the same.

      It depends….

      We need to have a context of what’s taking place before any of us can make a qualified judgment.

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