Hyundai Motor said on Wednesday that key hurdles standing in the way of a €400 million ($432 million) truck joint venture with DaimlerChrysler have almost been resolved, paving the way for the launch of the delayed project, the Reuters news agency reported.
DaimlerChrysler, which already owns 10% of Hyundai, is seeking to deepen its ties by launching a 50/50 joint venture in South Korea to manufacture trucks, the report said, adding that the launch had been troubled by demands by Hyundai’s unionised workers seeking job guarantees and financial perks.
“Management and the labour union have tentatively agreed on most sticking issues,” Hyundai spokesman Han Sung-ho told Reuters, adding: “A final conclusion will be made tomorrow.”
A final round of talks with the unionised workers is scheduled for Thursday, Han reportedly said.
Workers at Hyundai’s commercial vehicle plant in south-western Korea will be transferred to the proposed joint venture, which is likely to open in early October, he added, according to Reuters.
The news agency said DaimlerChrysler has been steadily extending its co-operation with Hyundai as it seeks to cut costs and improve profitability by extending its global reach.
Reuters also said that the Yonhap News reported DaimlerChrysler has asked the South Korean government to designate the site of the joint venture as a special foreign investment zone, which is subject to tax benefits.