General Motors Korea is back in the news. After turbulent times regarding its labor costs, the problem has returned, and it surrounds the Chevrolet Impala.
GM previously had devised plans to assemble the Chevrolet Impala in South Korea after local workers asked for new product to assemble as productivity begins to slow. However, South Korea remains a major hub for the Asian market in terms of production. South Korea normally builds low-cost vehicles, but GM has looked into changing that to counter high labor costs, according to The Wall Street Journal.
South Korean labor costs have increased 50-percent in five years, leaving many skeptical over what will come of GM Korea. GM began importing the Chevrolet Impala from Detroit, and consumers scooped up 10,000 units within six months. But, GM stated it was not enough demand to set up production locally.
“To meet growing consumer appetite for imported cars and flexibility to respond to local regulations on carbon emissions, we decided to continue to bring in the car from our Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant,” the company said in a statement.
GM Korea’s labor union leader, Koh Nam-kwon, plans to meet GM Chief Executive Mary Barra to discuss local Korean production, and discuss the decisions which “threatens the existence of GM Korea,” he stated in a statement.