GM Korea to launch voluntary retirement program in 2014

Article by Anita Panait, on December 20, 2013

General Motors is planning to cut jobs at its operations in South Korea in 2014 as it gears up to withdraw its Chevrolet brand in Europe. According to GM Korea chief executive Sergio Rocha, they plan to launch a "voluntary retirement" plan for to its 6,000 salaried workers by March 2014. Rocha, however, clarified that GM will not cut production jobs.

The 6,000 salaried workers who could apply for the voluntary retirement program include research and design personnel, which numbers around 2,200. GM Korea spokesman Park Hae-ho said the voluntary retirement program is part of the company’s ongoing efforts to enhance operating efficiency.

GM announced earlier this month that it will withdraw the Chevrolet brand in Europe by the end of 2015, and instead will focus on its Opel and Vauxhall operation to get out of the red in the region. The move is seen to shrink GM Korea’s production by up to 20 percent by 2015, since South Korea is the country that supplies most of the Chevrolets sold in Europe.

"Workloads are too light and there is a lot of anxiety about job restructuring," an employee at GM Korea's r&d center told Reuters. He remarked that the center is planning to finish the development of the next-generation Spark minicar in March 2014, ahead of its 2015 rollout. After that, there is no more waiting project.

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