* Interim CEO, union head to meet - union official
* Union will address reports of output shift - official
By Hyunjoo Jin
SEOUL, Jan 19 The interim chief executive
of the South Korean unit of General Motors Co plans to
meet its union leader on Friday amid market talk of a possible
shift of some production from the country to Europe, a union
official said on Thursday.
Reuters reported earlier that GM could transfer some
Chevrolet production from South Korea to Opel in Europe in a bid
to salvage its struggling European unit.
"The union leader was invited today by (GM Korea's interim
chief executive) John Buttermore to meet on Friday morning ...
and he plans to ask about reports on some production shifting
out of Korea," the official said.
A GM Korea spokesman declined to confirm the meeting, but
said it was not unusual for a new chief executive to meet the
The move comes after GM earlier cancelled a planned meeting
with its labour union, saying Buttermore was still making the
transition into his role.
GM's Korean unit announced on Friday that its head Mike
Arcamone had resigned and production executive Buttermore would
take over as interim chief, sparking media speculation that
Buttermore may lead the production shift from Korea to Europe.
Arcamone will move to Canadian firm Bombardier Inc
to head its commercial aircraft unit.
GM Korea said it did not comment on speculation.
"Our operations are flexible and running at healthy capacity
at the moment. There is nothing to say beyond that," GM Korea
said in a statement.
An attempt to move production from Korea could face strong
opposition from the government and GM's local shareholder, Korea
Korea is a small market for GM, but one of the U.S.
carmaker's key production bases, exporting Chevy cars sold in
Europe and accounting for about a quarter of its global
Chevrolet Europe President Wayne Brannon previously said
that GM wanted to sell 1 million Chevrolet cars in Europe by
2016, from 477,000 in 2010.
In August, GM Chief Executive Dan Akerson said the company's
long-term strategy included plans to build Chevrolet cars in
Europe, saying shipping Chevrolet cars into Europe was "maybe
not the most efficient" method.