By on May 7, 2013

Last month, GM CEO Dan Akerson said that GM might move production away from South Korea if tensions with North Korea escalate. Korea labor unions were not amused, saying that Akerson was using the crisis as a pretext to gain the upper hand in upcoming labor talks.

Last week in Detroit, Akerson told GM’s South Korean union leader that he won’t pull GM out of South Korea. He also said he is unhappy with the Korean union, and that he will bring up the matter this week with South Korea’s President Park Geun-hye, when the “Iron Lady” will visit the U.S. this week.

Now, the union is fuming.

“We are upset by his remarks. We did not go all the way to the U.S. to hear that,” union spokesman Choi Jong-hak told Reuters.

More than four out of 10 Chevrolet vehicles sold globally, are made in South Korea.

In January, rumors about GM  shifting production to underutilized European factories made the union threaten “war” if GM does that. Knowing the militant Korean unions, this is not just a figure of speech.

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11 Comments on “Korean Unions Mad At Akerson...”

  • avatar

    Samsung, LG, Hyundai, Kia and now Buick.
    The reason we have a massive trade deficit with South Korea is to justify the funneling of money to them for the inevitable war against North Korea. At least the developers of the 1st Crysis understand what must be done. I see alot of NK soldiers being choked in the near future.

    • 0 avatar

      Current year’s deficit with Korea isn’t that different from 2007 or 2005, before the current FTA revisions, I might add. Keep [plucking] that chicken with your made up tin-foil hat stuff…

  • avatar

    Hmmmmmm on the bright side even a minor Korean conflict gives the General due cause to relocate production, utilize disused Opel facilities, and screw the militant unions (who may be drafted) all at the same time.

    • 0 avatar
      VA Terrapin

      While GM Korea contributes profits to GM overall, Opel is an albatross around GM’s neck. GM would be better off by getting rid of their German factories and their spoiled workers, moving production to other parts of Europe, and keeping their Korean workers from getting too pissed off so that they can continue to design and build competitive vehicles like the Cruze and Spark.

  • avatar

    Take your payoff and go Dan. Playing the Nork card in a labor negotiation just pisses off the entire South Korean nation, which has been living with the threat for decades. Smooth move Akerlax.

  • avatar

    “More than four out of 10 Chevrolet vehicles sold globally, are made in South Korea.”

    This really took me by surprise.

    If most Chevys sold in China are made in China, and given that Chevrolet’s international footprint is otherwise fairly limited, does this mean that most Chevys sold in NA are made in Korea?

    It’s hard to think of a more iconically American brand than Chevrolet. Things have very clearly changed.

    • 0 avatar
      sunridge place

      Uh no. Try again. Approximately 12,000 Spark’s were built in Korea out of 1.85 million Chevy sales in the US in 2012.

      • 0 avatar

        Meanwhile in the great white north we were force fed Aveos, Optras, and Epicas all badged and Chevys and built in SK. Thank god things have sightly improved. Now everything is just engineered there…

    • 0 avatar

      You misunderstood that statement. It means that Chevy sells a crapload of vehicles overseas, and many of them are made in Korea. As sunridge said, very few US-market Chevys are made in Korea.

    • 0 avatar
      VA Terrapin

      A lot of Chevys sold in China are CKD units made in South Korea.

  • avatar

    Akerson, well known diplomat, greatest CEO ever, and product planner of unimaginable capability has only one flaw from his time spent as a junior officer in the US Navy. He issues orders and edicts to the ranks and expects them to snap to.

    When they don’t, he has a chat with their NCO, in this case the Prez of South Korea, to get help in getting the ranks to obey orders, and to assume the “tugging the forelock” position, while laying down their molotov cocktails.

    Good luck, Danny Boy!

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