GM Korea fights two-front war
Asian hub hammered by slumping exports, rising costs
September 12, 2016
SEOUL -- Changing times mean changing tactics for General Motors' massive South Korean hub, which is being hammered by a double whammy of slumping exports and surging costs.
To offset slowing overseas shipments, GM Korea Co. is trying to boost sales at home, where South Korean consumers are buying foreign brands at record levels. The push comes after bosses in Detroit installed a new local CEO from outside the auto industry in a bet he can breathe innovation into GM's Korean business.
James Kim was poached from Microsoft Korea in June 2015 and named CEO on Jan. 1. He replaces veteran engineering and production guru Sergio Rocha, who was transferred to South America.
Kim's task is tough: Find new demand for vehicles churned out by GM Korea's four assembly plants and work with an oft-contentious union to rein in costs.
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