DaimlerChrysler AG plans to form a truck joint venture with Hyundai Motor are on ice because of stalled labour talks, a spokesman told Dow Jones on Friday.
“The latest thing we’ve heard is that they (the Korean unions) have cut off talks,” Othmar Stein, a spokesman for DaimlerChrysler’s Commercial Vehicles division, told the news agency, adding: “We’re watching and waiting.”
Dow Jones said an agreement with unions representing workers of Hyundai’s truck division is the last remaining hurdle to the deal – a Thursday meeting between Hyundai and Korean union officials was cancelled.
DaimlerChrysler, which isn’t directly involved in the talks, wasn’t aware of a new meeting, the report said.
Depending on the concessions Hyundai makes, the settlement of the labour dispute could add new complications to the deal with DaimlerChrysler, Dow Jones said.
“We’ll be discussing with them (Hyundai) the outcome (of the labour talks),” Stein told the news agency.
Dow Jones said the DaimlerChrysler-Hyundai joint venture has been delayed for months by union demands for job guarantees and financial perks.
DaimlerChrysler already owns 10% of Hyundai and is seeking to deepen its relationship with Korea’s dominant vehicle maker by forming a 50/50 truck joint venture, Dow Jones noted, adding that the partnership with Hyundai would be the last piece in DaimlerChrysler’s ambitious expansion of its truck business.
The Stuttgart-based company has built up the world’s largest truck making operations by acquisitions and partnerships stretching from the US to China, the report noted.