Things turned bleaker for GM Korea as the unit proposed a shift cut at the country’s Bupyeong plant, Reuters reported on Monday. The facility, nestled on the outskirts of Seoul, features two plants; the proposed shift cut would hit plant two, which runs two shifts currently.
Right now, Bupyeong plant two builds the Chevrolet Malibu and Chevrolet Captiva, but the plant will be hit with a greater slowdown as GM phases out the Captiva this year. With the two vehicles, the Bupyeong plant two is running at under 50 percent capacity. Meanwhile, plant one remains at full capacity. It builds the Chevrolet Trax.
Union officials called the proposal “worrisome” as GM plans to shut down the Gunsan plant in South Korea and said it will decide the fate of the remaining facilities in the near future.
All of the news comes as GM Korea sales nosedive. Figures show South Korean sales down 50 percent year-over-year. Meanwhile, domestic automaker, Hyundai, saw sales grow 6 percent.
Amid the restructuring effort, around 2,600 workers chose to take a voluntary redundancy package, and GM has proposed a $2.8 billion investment for GM Korea. GM has asked the state-owned Korea Development Bank, which owns a portion of GM Korea, to co-invest to retain a presence in the country.