A General Motors executive has said that the planned shutdown of all Australian manufacturing operations could lead to more vehicles being shipped to the region from South Korea, according to a report from Reuters.
GM confirmed last month that it would cease all manufacturing operations in the country by 2017, citing rising production costs and a strong Australian dollar.
GM’s head of international operations, Stefan Jacoby, told reporters at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this week that the closure of the plant in Australia brings “a lot of opportunity”, saying there is “good likelihood” South Korea will begin to ship more cars to Australia, though no official decision had been made yet.
The recent decision to pull Chevrolet out of Europe created speculation that GM would restructure their operations in South Korea, who supplies most of the brands cars for the European market.
GM’s new CEO, Mary Barra, said the company “remains very committed to the Korean market.”
When inquired about whether or not the company is concerned with higher labor costs in South Korea, Barra said “From a competitive perspective it (labor costs) is very important. So it’s something that we continually look at.”