SEOUL Dec 5 General Motors Co is likely
to cut the number of cars it makes in South Korea by nearly 20
percent in 2015 compared with 2013, said industry researcher IHS
The U.S. automaker has raised concerns about wage costs,
labour relations and geopolitical tension with North Korea,
giving rise to speculation it could shift operations which
account for a fifth of global production.
In August, three people familiar with GM's thinking told
Reuters the pullout had already begun.
GM's South Korean factories could produce 650,000 vehicles
in 2015 compared with 800,000 vehicles this year, according to a
forecast IHS Automotive emailed to Reuters.
IHS expects GM to move a large portion of the production of
its Mokka sport-utility vehicle to Spain starting next year, and
stop producing the Gentra small car and Damas and Labo
commercial vehicles in Korea by year-end.
"GM Korea's volume decline is seen as inevitable," IHS
senior production analyst Ian Park said in the email.
Production is likely to fall even more after 2015 because GM
said it will make the next-generation Cruze car and perhaps the
new Aveo small car elsewhere, Park said.
GM spokesman Park Hae-ho declined to comment on the IHS
projection. "We don't discuss future production plans in public
due to competitive reasons."
GM Korea, which makes most of the Chevrolet cars sold in
Europe, has already reduced output this year at its factory in
the southeastern city of Gunsan because of sluggish European
It plans to produce about 147,000 vehicles next year at the
260,000 vehicle-capacity plant, in what the labour union termed
"a gravely serious situation."