GM Korea’s CEO denies plans to shift production out of South Korea

Article by Anita Panait, on May 24, 2012

The chief executive of General Motors’ South Korean unit disclosed Thursday at the Busan auto show that there are no plans to transfer the production of Chevrolet vehicles from South Korea to Europe. The statement of Sergio Rocha, GM Korea’s CEO, came shortly after GM’s announcement that it will transfer production of the next-generation Astra from Germany to its plants in Ellesmere Port, England, and Gliwice, Poland. 

The transfer will effectively terminate the production of the Astra at Opel's Ruesselsheim plant in Germany. The move also places Opel’s Bochum plant at the risk of closure. GM’s announcement of the transfer prompted speculations that the company will shift output of Chevrolet models, including the Orlando and Captiva, from South Korea to Germany to replace lost capacity.

Trade unions in South Korea are reportedly threatening to wage war with GM if the company transfers the production of Chevrolet models from Korea. It should be noted that most of the company’s Chevrolet models distributed in Europe are built in South Korea.

According to industry association ACEA, Chevrolet posted a 13.7 percent year-on-year increase in sales for the first four months of 2012 to 67,888 cars in the EU and EFTA countries, allowing the brand to grab a 1.5 percent market share. [source: Autonews]

Topics: gm, south korea, ceo

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