SOUTH KOREA: GM-Daewoo to have global design and development role
GM Daewoo Auto & Technology will be a centre of design and engineering development for General Motors' global network, the top GM executive reportedly said on Friday.
According to the Korea Times, in a new conference in Seoul, GM chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner said GM Daewoo is already playing several functions for GM and will further act as not only GM's leading sponsor for China and the Asia Pacific region, but also for GM's global operations.
"GM Daewoo's engineering, research and development and design centres are key components of the GM global product development organisation and a valuable resource for the development of new products," Wagoner reportedly said. "We are going to use resources here extensively."
GM Daewoo president Nick Reilly told the Korea Times it demonstrates his company's value in the GM network that GM Daewoo hired 200 new engineers since the beginning of the company.
Wagoner reportedly added that its design staff will also be expanded.
The paper noted that, in March, GM announced that it would be investing 1.74 trillion won in GM Daewoo with plans to use it as a global strategic engineering hub.
According to the investment plan, the automaker will hire 1,000 workers in accordance with the construction of two new production facilities, expansion of existing plants, introduction of three new models and diesel engine development, the Korea Times said.
In May, it concluded the takeover of Daewoo Powertrain, a transmission-producing company and launched next generation transmission development with an investment of 420 billion won, the report said.
In addition to the 1.74 trillion won investment, GM reportedly plans to invest more but has no specific plan at the moment.
As for the sales bidding on Ssangyong Motors, Reilly told the Korea Times, the company is "not intending to participate in the Ssangyong bid". He reportedly added the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp., which runs Shanghai GM based on a 50-50 joint venture with GM, is aggressively participating in the bidding.
The paper said Wagoner left the peninsula after wrapping up a three-day visit during which he met President Roh Moo-hyun and talked about a broad range of topics, including the introduction of the Euro IV standard vehicle, China's effect on the Korean auto industry and economy, and the Korean government's auto industry policies.
Accompanied by GM Asia Pacific president Troy Clarke, Wagoner also reportedly met Inchon Mayor Ahn Sang-soo, US ambassador to Korea Thomas Hubbard and the GM Daewoo labour union.
The delegation also toured GM Daewoo's Pupyong manufacturing facility and the GM Daewoo Design Centre in Inchon.
Regarding the integration of the Pupyong plant, Wagoner reportedly said he is closely watching the progress made there, but not all criteria have been met to go ahead for the acquisition - the four criteria for the trade are the two-shift system, vehicle quality, productivity and the labour union.