Automakers have had varied experiences in the different markets around the world in 2012. Most brands did very well in the U.S. and in some growing markets such as China and Brazil but sales have been slow in Europe. Even Hyundai and Kia were not spared. Bloomberg said that the strikes in South Korea had led to a drop in production volume of over 60,000 units while Kia posted a 9.2% decline in third-quarter production capacity. Kia sources 62% of its global output from its plants in South Korea. A Reuters report cited a Kia executive who said during an earnings conference call that the next-generation Forte compact may be produced in the U.S. The Reuters report also said that the next-generation Forte compact may be made in the U.S. So far, the United Auto Workers union has not been able to penetrate Hyundai and Kia’s U.S. manufacturing operations. In fact, third shifts have been added to their U.S. plants to cope with the high demand. This is in contrast to what happened in Korea with the concession of higher wages for workers and the cessation of overnight shifts after disputes between labor and management.
Gallery: 2013 Kia Forte