The Korea Herald


GM "한국 안떠난다"

By 윤민식

Published : Feb. 22, 2013 - 18:58

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한국GM이 앞으로 5년간 8조원을 투자하겠다는 청사진을 내왔다. 지난 2002년 출범 이후 10년간 10조원을 투자한 것과 비교하면 60%가 확대되는 것이다.

신규 투자를 바탕으로 신차 6종을 국내에서 생산, 계발하고 내수시장 점유율은 현재 9.5%에서 두자리수를 달성하겠다고 발표했다.

현재 GM의 경차 및 소형차의 디자인을 담당하고 있는 부평 디자인스튜디오는 두배 이상 규모를 키워 미국, 브라질에 이어 세번째로 큰 디자인센터가 될 예정이다.

"한국GM은 오늘날 GM의 성공스토리에 크게 기여했다. 우리는 한국에서, 한국과 함께, 한국을 위하여 역량을 키워갈 것이다"고 팀리 GM해외사업부문 사장이 금요일 간담회에서 밝혔다.

최근 지분매각과 크루즈국내생산 중단 등으로 불거진 "GM철수설"에 대해서는 "8조원 결코 가볍게 투자할 수 있는 금액 아니다"며 "GM은 한국에 남을 것"이라고 강조했다.

(코리아헤럴드 이지윤 기자)

<관련 영문 기사>

GM renews commitment to Korea with new investment

By Lee Ji-yoon

General Motors on Friday renewed its commitment to its Korean operations, pledging to invest 8 trillion won ($7.3 billion) over the coming five years.

The promised money is an almost 60 percent increase considering the U.S. auto giant has poured 10 tirllion won into the branch of the past 10 years since the establishment of GM Korea.

“It’s a real story,” Tim Lee, head of GM’s international operations, during a press conference at the Korean unit’s headquarters in Bupyeong, Incheon.

“GM Korea is part of GM’s success story today. Our Chevrolet and Cadillac brands are here for the long term in Korea, with Korea, for Korea.”

Under a blueprint called “GMK 20XX,” GM Korea plans to elevate its current 9.5 percent market share in Korea to a double-digit range by 2018, while improving its design, engineering and manufacturing capabilities.

According to the GM vice president, the Korean design studio, which oversees GM’s small car engineering and design, will be doubled in size, becoming the third-largest one after those in the U.S. and Brazil.

Six new or redesigned models of GM vehicles, including the all-electric Chevrolet Spark, will be introduced to the Korean market in the second half of this year for manufacturing or development, he said.

The new investment plan came amid growing concerns that the U.S. carmaker could be reducing its presence in Korea. 

GM has continued negotiations to regain complete control of its Korean unit by buying back its stakes owned by the second-largest shareholder Korea Development Bank.

The GM executive, however, brushed off such suspicions, saying: “It’s simply a business decision to make use of cash. Do not interpret anything into that transaction other than we want to improve our balance sheet and our capabilities.”

He added that new vehicles would arrive to be produced at the Gunsan plant, North Jeolla Province, relieving labor tensions that were triggered there after GM recently announced it would no longer build the Chevrolet Cruze in Korea.

While the 8 trillion won investment would offer more opportunities for GM’s sustainable growth in Korea, Lee cited relations with labor unions and the strengthening Korean won as major risks that it is facing here as well.

Over the past 10 years, the company’s car sales have surged more than five times from some 280,000 units in 2002 to 2.05 million last year. Its accumulated car sales have surpassed 15 million vehicles.

The carmaker is now the seventh-largest branch for the Chevrolet brand. (