GM Korea President and CEO Kaher Kazem held a press conference on November 30 and said that the company is making various efforts to dispel rumors about GM’s withdrawal from the South Korean market and the company is going to prepare a sustainable future by focusing on a turnaround.
These days, the rumors are still circulating in spite of the company’s denial. This is because GM is going through restructuring in various regions around the world and GM Korea is undergoing a decline in domestic sales, exports, and capacity utilization, labor-management conflicts, controversies surrounding the ordinary wage, and so on. GM Korea has recorded significant losses for three years in a row and the CEO said that day the losses are unacceptable.
At the press conference, the CEO did not give any definite answer about whether GM will keep doing business in South Korea or not. Instead, he said that what matters is financial sustainability based on a turnaround. This means the company should turn a profit to remain in the South Korean market.
He also mentioned that unionized workers’ cooperation is essential for the turnaround. “We are currently working and communicating with unionized workers, partner firms, sales agencies, and the South Korean government in order to handle our important tasks,” he remarked, continuing, “Such cooperation is extremely important.” Wage negotiations between the top management and the workers resumed on November 30 in about four months.
With regard to GM Korea’s manufacturing plant in Gunsan, he went on to say, “We are going to come up with a plan for the improvement of its profitability although nothing has been determined yet.” At present, the capacity utilization of the plant is approximately 20%.