GM Proposes $2.8 Billion, 10-Year Investment in South Korea
GM Proposes $2.8 Billion, 10-Year Investment in South Korea
22 February, 2018, 00:53
GM is looking to shut down its underutilized Gunsan plant in South Korea. Outreach efforts will be made to make clear that South Korea's imports of Chinese steel do not target the U.S. market. GM's main Chinese partner, SAIC Motor Corp Ltd 600104.SS , controls the remaining 6.0 percent. Regardless of whether a deal is struck or not, it seems the state-run Korea Development Bank, which holds a 17 percent stake in GM Korea, is going to be heavily criticized. On that basis, KDB would provide around $476 million in investment.
Last week, GM announced its plan to shut down the plant in Gunsan by May.
A GM Korea spokeswoman said she can not confirm details of the investment.
It was not immediately clear how much fresh capital GM has demanded from the South Korean government to keep operating its Korean business, which employs almost 16,000 people.
"By opaque we mean the high cost of goods, interest payments regarding loans and unfair financial support made to GM's headquarters", the minister said.
The five trade pacts open South Korea to key Central American countries after its deals with the US, the European Union and China helped boost exports.
The plan is to put pressure on GM, telling it to come up with a concrete turnaround plan for GM Korea, according to Lim Han-taek.
Lim said the union will discuss a full strike and other options at a meeting on Thursday.
The minister said that providing incentives for foreign companies should be decided in consideration of the regulations of the World Trade Organization, suggesting that state support for GM Korea should be provided without violating worldwide trade regulations. Since 2015, GM has exited unprofitable markets including Europe, South Africa and Russian Federation. Nothing has been decided, but the debt-equity swap would allow GM to continue its business operations in Korea.
After the meeting, Engle told reporters the company wanted to stay in South Korea. Trade Minister Kim Hyun-chong signed the pact with economic ministers from Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama, a spokeswoman for the Seoul ministry said, according to AFP. GM wants to keep the remaining three plants - two in Bupyeong, just west of the capital city, and one in Changwon in the country's southeast - by allocating a new crossover vehicle for production here, the spokesman said.
KDB has said the automaker has not shared sufficient information about its finances or the cause of its mounting losses, according to officials from the bank and government officials.
But the automaker's decision to exit other unprofitable markets have exacerbated problems for GM Korea, which used to build numerous Chevrolet models GM once offered in Europe.
GM Korea posted a total of 1.9 trillion won in net losses between 2014 and 2016.
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