By on February 21, 2018

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Amid frantic restructuring designed to keep General Motors’ money-losing Korean operations afloat, the automaker has proposed a $2.8 billion investment, a new report claims.

According to Reuters, a South Korean government official said GM would invest the funds over the span of 10 years, though not all of that money would come from the automaker’s coffers.

The country’s state-run Korea Development Bank (KDB) holds a 17-percent stake in GM’s Korean subsidiary, and is reportedly being asked to provide $476 million in investment. GM Korea announced the impending closure of its Gunsan assembly plant last week, but hasn’t yet decided the fate of three remaining plants in the country.

On Tuesday, Reuters reported on a seperate $2.7 billion debt-to-equity swap proposed by GM as a way of securing government support, as well as tax benefits. Part of the overall rescue plan includes the production of two new models in South Korea, one lawmaker said. The automaker hasn’t confirmed any of these proposals.

While the proposals seem promising, the government remains wary. South Korea’s trade minister, Paik Un-gy, said on Wednesday that the government wants an audit into GM’s “opaque” management in the country, CNBC reports. It’s hoped an audit will determine if GM’s proposals can truly save the operation.

“By opaque we mean the high rate of profits to raw material costs, interest payments regarding loans and unfair financial support made to GM’s headquarters,” Paik told reporters.

Meanwhile, GM’s 14,000 unionized Korean workers are prepared to strike if the automaker decides to pull up stakes in the country, labor boss Lim Han-taek said Wednesday.

[Image: Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)]

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59 Comments on “The Cost of Saving GM Korea? $2.8 billion, Report Claims...”


  • avatar
    Sub-600

    Foreign labor unions, that’s got to be a legal nightmare.

    • 0 avatar
      DearS

      Half of Americans with no pay raise in 40 years. Labor lost so much power to ask for a bigger piece of the surplus cash! $2.8 Billion is not much.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      German VW workers just got a 4.3% wage hike (among other increases in benefits).

    • 0 avatar
      Guitar man

      The union issue is irrelevant.

      Gm Korea has lost sales because of the withdrawal from Europe.

      Europe was a financial disaster because of a “fixer” from Detroit who renegotiated supply contracts in the early 2000s leading to snapped timing belts in the Family I engine (flimsy belts tightened too much to stop them slipping, which caused the water pumps to seize – saved 30 cents a belt, cost $1 billion in warranty claims) and disintegrating chains on the Family II engine (another billion down the drain).

      The principal reason workers were kept on at Gunsan was than GM wanted to sell the factory to a Chinese company. The deteriorating relations between China and South Korea has meant that won’t be possible now.

  • avatar
    Marathon Mike

    Maybe they could propose building another factory about 300 miles North of their current operations. Bet the labor would be lots cheaper. Probably no union worries either.

    • 0 avatar
      ra_pro

      In North Korea? No unions there, though a somewhat crazy dictator.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        In most countries (no matter the political and/or socio-economic system), the disparity in wealth from the haves and have-nots is only increasing.

        From the US to the UK to South Korea to North Korea to China to Russia to Mexico to Vietnam to Romania to Brazil to South Africa to Egypt, etc.

        Despite the different political and/or socio-economic, those in power have written the rules to benefit themselves (or their supporters).

      • 0 avatar
        dont.fit.in.cars

        That quality thing…over the mortar tube.

    • 0 avatar
      b534202

      If they’re selling those cars to China only, sure.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        I’m not surprised that there are those that turn this into some sort problem due to an organized collective of unionized workers.
        There will always be those willing to facilitate a race to the bottom which ONLY benefits the 1%.

        Rugged individualism benefits the current capitalistic system since everyone is only out for themselves.

        In pre-hospital emergency care we look at mass casualty incidences under the golden rule of “doing the greatest amount of good for the greatest number of people.”

        That rule applies equally well to a fair and just workplace and a fair and just society!

        • 0 avatar
          2manycars

          So in your “fair and just” society, it is considered fair and just to employ armed thugs acting under color of law to rob anyone who has more than you do. This is certainly welcome news to parasites who want to sit on their asses while someone else is forced to pay their way.

          Of course, after you loot the 1% of what they have earned in order to turn it over to non-producers, you’ll have to go after the 2%, the 3%, etc., etc., racing to the bottom until everyone is equally poor. (I’m reminded of a scene in “Atlas Shrugged” where the looters, having run out of productive people to rob, start trying to loot each other.)

          “Fair and just” my ass.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            You know an argument is rhetorical bunk when Ayn Rand gets dragged out.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            “it is considered fair and just to employ armed thugs acting under color of law to rob anyone who has more than you do”

            You referring to military intervention or the CIA meddling around the world?

            In no way shape or form am I condoning violence.

            The vilification of any form of organized labour benefits the 1%.

            Wall Street and Corporate execs et al walked away from the 2008 collapse without a scratch. GM walked from 100 billion in debt.

            What ever happened to “common good”? Isn’t that in the USA constitution somewhere?

            “We the people” is how things get fixed not “I, the selfish”.

            That applies to everything from corrupt government to walking into a school and slaughter innocents or raining bullets into a country music concert.

            The self is very important but it has been twisted into the “cult of the self”. The President of the USA isn’t “the disease”, he is the ultimate manifestation of “the disease”.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus

            You know you can’t argue someone’s point when you pick some insignificant part of it to drag out as an excuse for not having an actual retort.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Well, the only thing in the post that rose to the level of rhetorical bunk was the Ayn Rand reference.

            The rest was sub-bunk.

            Therefore, I think I was doing the guy a favor.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            2manycars,
            Parasites sitting on their asses? What’s the unemployment rate? Get real.

            The parasites are large business who expect, like GM for governments to provide money hand over fist.

            At least in Australia the government said “enough is enough if a business can’t compete without handouts and support, then it doesn’t deserve to operate”.

            It is a well known fact I’m against pretty much what unions stand for.

            But, the problem is equally the large corporations.

            GM if it isn’t competitive in Korea should move on and let Hyundai/Kia, Ssyanyong, etc continue on. GM has shown it isn’t a competitive company in the global market with its existing model.

            GM, starting in Detroit may need to make the necessary adjustments to operate and be competitive.

      • 0 avatar
        Peter Gazis

        GM only imports high-end vehicles into China. Corvettes, Camaros, Cadillac-Vs, Monster SUVs and Pickups.

        All made in U.S.A.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Pete,
          GM will need more than a niche market to survive.

          All the major players are able to offer more or less a full lineup of vehicles.

          The Arabian countries is where there is a market for US vehicles as well, but that market is limited.

          Support of the products is necessary, this makes it awkward for comapanies like GM to operate in niche markets.

          China with Buick might do better for GM, if Trump doesn’t screw it all up.

  • avatar
    1500cc

    Is GM losing its engineering abilities by pulling out of these countries? I thought mid-size cars were designed in Germany, and now that’s gone. I thought small cars were designed in Korea, now that’s looking shaky. Will North America be able to successfully take over all this work?

    • 0 avatar
      ect

      What part of “we’re shrinking our way to success” are you missing?

      • 0 avatar
        Caboose

        To be fair, they sold Opel & Vauxhall because they couldn’t see a path back to profitability in Europe for those car-heavy brands. Seems that Korea is in the same…ahem…boat.

        And Korean strikes are not like American strikes. They are far more frequent, and frequently violent, with workers storming the factory against which they are striking, and literally throwing molotov cocktails from the roof. I saw one YooToob video that showed Korean workers had dismantled some of the equipment to build legit medieval-style siege equipment on the roof in order to keep the police at bay. The cops finally starved them out, IIRC. Korean strikes are no joke; they will do property damage. They will cut off their own noses to spite their faces and will bite the hands that feeds them. GM may be wondering whether it’s worth the hassle.
        Low factory productivity was also a big factor in pulling up European stakes.

        Besides, there’s no rule saying that GM can’t continue to hire German & Korean engineers & designers. They’ll just move to America to work.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Caboose,
          The UAW cut of their noses in spite of their faces as well. The UAW was lucky the government saw to help them after the GFC, or the UAW memebers on pensions would litterly be up a creek without a paddle.

          • 0 avatar
            bd2

            UAW workers for GM made deep concessions – enough where it made it viable for GM to build the SUB-compact Sonic here in the states (Michigan).

            Neither Ford nor the Japanese do that (and they’re all moving or planning to move their compact car production to Mexico or elsewhere).

            As for the Korean auto unions – they are as militant as unions can get and they need to get a better grasp of the realities of the world (labor) marketplace quickly or this will come back to bite them (it’s not just for GM Korea, but for Hyundai, Kia and Renault Samsung).

            GM pulled Mokka production from Korea and brought it over to Europe (Spain) b/c it was cheaper to produce there.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            bd2,
            It should of never moved to the point where the UAW has to make concessions.

            Did they make concessions, or did they move back to where it should of been?

            There still needs to be changes in the US regarding current pensions and medical deficiencies.

          • 0 avatar
            Guitar man

            GM gambled with workers money, offering high rates on company notes backed with workers money (pension funds) in 2007-8. The value of GM shares actually _increased_ during the period leading to its collapse, even though everyone knew it was tanking.

            Anyone who bought notes in that period lost everything of course. Never mind, the banks and stock brokers still got their commission.

            The Fed govt had the “choice” of re-liquidising the GM pensions (at a much lower payout rate), or bailing the company out entirely. The cost would have been about the same.

          • 0 avatar
            bd2

            Big Al – not disagreeing necessarily on whether they moved back to where “things should have been” – altho, that’s more to do w/ the realities of the labor marketplace than anything else.

            Instead of being a job which allows its workers to solidly be in the middle class (if not maybe the upper middle-class), heavy manufacturing has become a lower middle class job.

            And funny how wages either retract or remain stagnant for the workers, but keep going up and up for the top management (where many have become independently wealthy).

            Also, Ford increased the wages of his workers to TRIPLE what the going rate was for manufacturing back in the day b/c he had the silly idea that paying his workers higher wages would mean that more people would be able to afford the Model T.

      • 0 avatar
        mik101

        “What part of “we’re shrinking our way to success” are you missing?” -ect

        The success part.

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      Trucks and UV’s, that’s what GM does.

      Ditto Ford and Chrysler (can’t make myself type the real name because it’s so insidious).

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      1500cc,
      GM is going to find the going tough in the future as it rationalises it’s business.

      The next to down size will be Ford.

      The US manufacturers never took on globalisation intelligently and left EU and Asian countries the market.

      While the EU and Asians (countries) developed open markets with similar regulations and controls that facilitated trade the US stayed on course concentrating on products that no one wants and protecting these products at home. This worked well when the US was the dominant global market.

      Now as the US market size shrinks and companies like Vauxhall, Holden, Opel, etc existed to suit individual markets the cost of maintaining these was high and not profitable.

      Not you can see where I’ve been coming from with my comments on “US style” protectionism of its vehicle market.

      The US manufacturers really need to make some long term decisions on the viability of the US operations. This idea in having a heavily biased set of controls protecting and supporting large vehicles is not what the US needs.

      The US needs to open it’s doors. The US market is not as free as many like to state.

    • 0 avatar
      NN

      Shanghai GM (SAIC) will most certainly be the new engineering source for small and mid-sized platforms

  • avatar
    tylanner

    If I were Korea I wouldn’t spend another dime unless the plan is sound and could eventually turn profitable. A recovery plan that involves even more production and government investment just sound like temporary subsidies on top of already broken promises from GM.

    I’m pretty certain that Korea doesn’t have a car shortage and if they are going to invest in the automobile industry it doesn’t make sense to stuff the pockets of a foreign corporation just so the whole thing can float precariously on top of stagnant revenue.

    What a mess. Time to sell that old Daewoo.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @tylanner
      I agree. Corporate welfare without some sort of long term plan to ween off the public teet is necessary. GM played the “we’ll close up shop” game with Canada with the 2008 collapse. USA also fell into the “too big to fail” trap.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      GM was never good at working in a globalised market. You could see the writing on the wall when GMH shut down manufacturing.

      Large corporations have it easier than many businesses, especially the auto sector. They cry poor and the government gives them money. Look at Ontario.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Another issue is that GM Korea took a substantial loan from GM with a pretty high interest rate and still owes about $2.7 billion (having paid about $450 million in interest over the past 15 yrs).

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        bd2,
        So, GM still was offered a loan below market rates. Why should GM be any different to anyone in Korea or anywhere?

        I think it’s good that large corporations pay their fair share. Sort of like these corporate tax cuts Trumps offering.

        There is a difference between the headline rate the politicians spruik on about compared to the real rates corporations pay.

        • 0 avatar
          bd2

          Well, considering that GM (and Ford and Chrysler) got basically zero-interest loans when they were struggling, maybe it would be nice if the parent company helped its struggling unit by lessening the financial load when it came to interest payments.

          Granted, there are numerous other issues as to why GM Korea is on tenuous ground (of which poor management is one of them), but the interest payment on the debt load isn’t helping.

  • avatar
    ra_pro

    It appears that GM is not able to build cars profitable anywhere in the world except perhaps in China. Probably only until the Chinese figure out how incompetent GM is.

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      China will kick them all out when they are done stealing their tech.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      ra_pro,
      It’s not just GM, it’s also Chrysler which failed to setup global operations.

      Ford will be in a similar position.

      The reason is the rest of the world has set up to design, operate and trade on a better global model.

      In this case it’s not the Koreans taking US jobs. It’s more like poor decisions by GM over the past decades.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Umm, the US…

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        bd2,
        Back in the 50s is when you can see to powerhouse global vehicle manufacturers and manufacturing nations start to develop the current model that has become global.

        The US back then thought, well, it doesn’t affect us because we are 50% plus of the vehicle market. By the 60s Detroit started to see how well organised and advanced the external to US vehicle manufacturers were.

        DOT was formed in 1967 by Lyndon Johnson, along with the Chicken tax. CAFE was formed to counter efficiency gains in Asia and the EU. The US deliberately used a different model as a technical.

        Even to this day you can’t import a vehicle and drive it on an American road unless it is more or less sold in the US, yet other nations allow US vehicles in on their free market platforms.

        The US (UAW and Detroit) are destroying the longer term viability of US vehicle manufacturing.

        The US by continually opting to provide bias to large vehicles has left it at a disadvantage globally.

        The US is no longer in such a powerful position where it can dictate trade. This is what is scaring many Americans, hence peanuts like Trump are being elected at the expense of the nation.

        I just hope Trump’s protectionist stance with metals falls flat on it’s face. Because the price WILL rise significantly for all products containing metal, thus increasing the US uncompetitive position it currently sits at, yup MAGA!

  • avatar
    IBx1

    “Meanwhile, GM’s 14,000 unionized Korean workers are prepared to strike if the automaker decides to pull up stakes in the country”

    Yeah, that’ll teach ’em! Strike at the closed factory that was closed due to strikes!

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Maybe the UAW has learned a lesson from their own past strikes and from these strikes in South Korea.

      Maybe Trump is enticing automakers to bring back the jobs to the US from Mexico, Canada, South Korea and other places.

      Their loss can only help to “Make America Great Again.”

      And the UAW won’t have to strike ever again.

      Times have changed.

      And I like it!

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        highdesertcat,
        The US isn’t performing greatly at the moment. It has improved. I do not know what and where you get your information from.

        The CPI has yet to hit 3%, income,increasing isn’t increasing at a great rate of knots.

        Markets are way over valued considering the future doesn’t look that great with the additional trillions the US will need to borrow to support the tax cuts to the few.

        I see all falling in a heap in the not to distant future.

        Supporting consumers is the best way to stimulate an economy, just providing handouts and subsidies to the large corporations is not the most effective way forward.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          Well, we each have our perspective and our preferences.

          Aside from CNBC, Bloomberg, NBR and BBC I also derive my economic view from how well me and mine are doing under this administration.

          And overwhelmingly, we are doing much better than during the dark ages of the last administration.

          I think a huge number of Americans are doing better. Especially those who are working for a living.

          No doubt you were happy with the phenomenal economic growth during the last administration. I know a lot of people were. And to each his own.

          I prefer what is happening now. I’m very optimistic about where America is headed.

          Of course, America only had one way to go after Nov 8, 2016, and that was up.

          You know, there are going to be a lot of things coming down the pike. Providing handouts and subsidies to large corporations has helped a number of employees with bonuses and pay raises.

          All good. All that money on the sidelines being pressed into service, buybacks, expansions, investments. All good.

          I don’t mind employers making money for their share holders and owners. That’s what America is all about. That’s what America was built on.

          And yes, there will always be losers and people who fall by the way side, no matter how hard they try to stay on top of things.

          The trick is, don’t become one of the losers.

          It is possible to do everything right in life, give it your best effort, and still come up snake eyes. But some people are getting a second chance at life with Trump’s policies.

          Bringing jobs back to America from other countries is fundamental to stimulating the American economy.

          Getting more foreigners to invest in America? That’s just icing on the cake.

          Trump said he was going to do it. He got elected by the people who believed what he said.

          I hope he can make good on his promises.

          So far, he’s done better than most expected.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            highdesertcat,
            It’s not about you. You seem to go on about you. Is the world about you? The USA about you?

            I could imagine you as the little dictator, “I have riches so everyone else must be like me”.

            You seem to think everyone has this narcissistic sense about themselves like you do.

            Just because you are doing okay now and many are doing sh!t will come back to bite you or your family in the future.

            You see, if all is going okay and you are doing okay, even less than you currently are “doing” that’s the best possible outcome.

            The world is not your oyster.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Actually, the world IS my oyster, and also the oyster of everyone else who chooses to pursue his dreams and ambitions, and succeeds at it.

            A long time ago I quit caring whether people liked me or not. Yeah, and when I work and I’m the Boss, I am an SOB. But I get the job done. That’s what people paid me for.

            And as I mentioned before, when I spend my money, it IS all about me.

            I think most people feel that way, seeking control over how they spend their money and receiving value for it.

            We each have to choose the paths we take in life and although I didn’t vote for Trump, he has done the most for me and mine since Ronald Reagan.

            If Trump runs again in 2020, you bet, I’ll vote for him.

            (But I don’t think he will run again. I think he will step down and turn it over to Pence. Trump had a better lifestyle, more freedom before he was elected. He proved his point. Showed the professional politicians how it’s done. He doesn’t need this job.)

          • 0 avatar
            bd2

            And that’s what people were saying before the recession arising from the S&L crisis, the recession arising from the dot.com bubble and then the Great Recession (which could have easily turned into a depression) arising from the subprime/derivatives mess.

            All 3 were brought on by over De-regulation and Wall St. (aided by govt. policies/legislation) stoking up a bubble.

            As for this…

            “And overwhelmingly, we are doing much better than during the dark ages of the last administration.”

            People were doing much better at the end of Obama’s term than at the beginning – the Great Recession having started under GW Bush’s watch and brought about by Republican legislation (mostly led by Phil Gramm).

            Republicans like to repeatedly claim that they are “fiscal conservatives”, but in actuality, they are the exact opposite.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I don’t see a compelling reason for GM to keep Daewoo except maybe getting their compact and subcompact cars from them (i.e. designs and engineering). The auto manufacturers if anything have more incentive to automate even more. The cost of a robot in the long run is less expensive than a worker with benefits and the robot can work 24/7 except for down time for maintenance which is much less than vacation and sick leave.

    Big Al–as for competitiveness agree that the US manufacturers are too dependent on larger trucks, crossovers, and suvs which is similar to past dependence on large automobiles. Eventually all good things come to an end and many will be priced out of buying these larger vehicles and the price of fuel will go up. The President is considering higher gas taxes and use taxes to maintain and build roads and bridges. I am in favor of one proposal the would raise the fuel tax by an additional 25 cent if the tax revenue is specifically used to build, replace, and maintain highways and bridges but I doubts that it will be used exclusively for those things. A higher gas tax would cause many to look at more efficient vehicles but realistically many politicians would be afraid to raise fuel taxes for fear of political backlash. Also don’t think the politicians have the will to rescind the Chicken Tax for fear of political backlash. I do think that the Chicken Tax is an antiquated tax but I honestly don’t see it being rescinded in the near future.

    I think eventually the US pickups will be more global but that is more in the future. I believe the global trucks will become slightly larger and that the US pickups will be reduced in size to a size between the current half ton size and midsize which is more global. This new size would be the new global truck that would be shared with the US.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Jeff S,
      I see most OECD economies are very similar in the way they operate. There are differences, but minute in the big scheme of things.

      It’s these little difference over a period of time that will see which one succeeds in our culture, sort of like “Evolution of the Species” by Charles Darwin. As with evolution in the animal kingdom the largest isn’t necessarily the most successful. Actually the largest becomes extinct first.

      I do believe the US has the 19th and early 20th Century Euro disease, simply put arrogance. As you can witness by many comments here on TTAC many individuals don’t want to change the way the US does business, they are living in the past 60 years ago.

      I tend to look closely at what is driving markets and naturally my interest in motor vehicles has led me to make comparisons, but current and historical.

      The US manufacturers are not keeping up with what is going on in the global markets. I’m not just talking plant and equipment, I’m also talking how the business operates.

      Look at Ford, GM and to a minute degree Chrysler. They never once tried to create a global market of single products. They have been regional in operation, ie, Holden, Vauxhall, Opel, etc. They bled these operations for their technology and transferred much of it to Detroit at the expense of the countries they operated in. Add to that the unwillingness of the US manufacturers to move away from large vehicles and produce quality products failed them (70s and 80s).

      Detroit has and always looked for protection and handouts to support them. Now slowly you are seeing the demise of what could be the greatest source of income producing vehicle manufacturers, the US.

      The failure to adopt global style pickups has cost Detroit dearly. Imagine if the majority of midsizers came out of the US? That could of been possible.

      Detroit and the UAW has and are screwing up, at the expense of the US.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        “Look at Ford, GM and to a minute degree Chrysler. They never once tried to create a global market of single products. They have been regional in operation, ie, Holden, Vauxhall, Opel, etc. They bled these operations for their technology and transferred much of it to Detroit at the expense of the countries they operated in.”

        Hmmm – kinda sounds like what Daimler did to Chrysler.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @Big Al–Agree with most of what you said above. I would add that the US has been in a transition from being the No 1 power economically and militarily to a lesser role. I am not being negative but this has happened throughout history with Greece, Egypt, Italy (the Roman Empire), Spain, and Great Britain. The US has to adjust to eventually not being No 1. Many of the things you have mentioned about the US auto industry are true but this is not a new thing either. The Big 3 or if you include AMC it was the Big 4 were dealt a huge blow after the first Arab Oil Embargo after buyers started to buy Japanese vehicles. Chrysler itself had to get a Government loan in the early 80’s otherwise they would have died the only difference is Chrysler then eventually paid it off.

    I think the big difference today is that GM, Ford, and FCA did come out with competitive compact and midsize cars but by the time they did the Japanese had a foothold in the US market and the market became overcrowded. Also with cheaper more available gas and with cars becoming smaller with less head, leg room, and trunk space buyers got turned off to cars. Most of what has happened to cars can be contributed to Government Regulations which have made cars less utilitarian. Sloping roof lines, less headroom, and harder to get in and out of, and poor visibility have contributed to much of the decrease in auto sales. Sloping roof lines are coupe like sedans might look nice but they are not the most comfortable vehicles when hauling passengers. Most crossovers, suvs, and pickups have more headroom, leg room, and are much easier to see out of. I myself doubt I will ever buy another sedan because the crossover is much easier to get in and out of, much easier to see out of and has usable cargo space. Ford, GM, and FCA are producing more pickups, crossovers, and suvs to meet popular demand but the problem is if the economy takes a dive and if fuel prices go up then the Big 3 or 2 and a half might find it harder to transition to smaller more efficient vehicles. Today’s larger vehicles are much more efficient and safer than their predecessors but things do change and being able to adapt to a changing market is critical for survival.

    Your point about handouts is very true. It is bad for any industry to become too dependent on Government support and one need only look at British Leyland when it was owned by the British Government. Government support is just as addictive as drugs to a drug addict. In the long run being adaptive to change and having a global presence is the key to survival. Eventually all vehicles will be global with slight variations for different regions. A good step would be for most of the developed countries to agree on pollution, efficiency, and safety standards that are reasonable and attainable. There should be input for these standards from industry as well especially the engineers that design these vehicles and their drive trains. Any standards should be done in stages and with reasonable expectations that do not cause major disruptions to the economy.

  • avatar
    Manic

    Time to flog the dead horse off to someone. Chinese? Nope. PSA, again? They have enough capacity already. I saw current Renaults re-badged as something when recently in Seoul. Samsung Renault? Maybe they’d need some factories….

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Manic,
      Samsung has close ties to the Renault, Nissan and now Mitsubishi business.

      So, Samsung cars are Renault/Nissans.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        Samsung got out of the auto business – only retains a 19.1% share in Renault-Samsung which is subsidiary of Renault.

        The right to use the Samsung name runs out in 2020; remains to be seen if Samsung will grant Renault an extension (or if Renault has an interest in renewing).

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @Manac–Tata Motors could be a potential suitor. At least the Daewoo cars do not catch on fire like the Tata Nano.

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