Following a $7 billion bailout agreement between the state government and General Motors, GM Korea still remains in pretty poor shape. GM Korea sales tanked sharply by 26 percent year-over-year in August and every model saw declines save for the Chevrolet Bolt EV.
Now, GM Korea is gearing up to turn the tide. The unit announced a massive sales strategy targeting clusters of suppliers and their employees, families, and local communities. The strategy sees the country divided into four regions with main suppliers centralized in each. Thus far, GM Korea has held three sales promotions: one in Shiheung, Gumi and most recently in Incheon.
The sales promotion has a goal of boosting Chevrolet sales in the area with a twist: GM Korea will give back. For every 1,000 cars it sells, the “Never Give Up” campaign will donate a new car to the underprivileged. GM Korea vice president Global Purchasing and Supply Chain Marcio Lucon delivered a new Chevrolet Spark at the Incheon event.
By targeting suppliers and their families and friends, GM Korea hopes to bolster loyalty to GM, as many local suppliers make parts for GM products around the world.
“Korean suppliers are not only helping GM Korea and GM plants worldwide by supplying quality parts but also actively promoting GM Korea vehicle sales by holding such promotion events. Incheon city is home for many suppliers who have business on some of very strategic GM programs like full size truck and Bolt electric vehicle,” GM senior vice president of Global Purchasing and Supply Chain Steven Kiefer, said.
Suppliers threw their support behind GM Korea to ensure its survival when bankruptcy quickly looked like a reality. The bailout ensured the unit’s survival in the near term, but also froze wages and benefits for union employees. 2,000 workers also lost their jobs after GM closed the underutilized Gunsan plant.