South Korea President Mourns GM Plant Closure

South Korea President Moon Jae-in Press Conference

South Korean President Moon Jae-In said on Monday that General Motors Co.’s decision will hurt the area. He then called upon his administration to help boost the economic activity in the affected region.

Just last week, GM announced that it will be closing a plant in the city of Gunsan. The plant was located at the southwest of South Korea and will be shutting down by May. The company will make a decision about the fate of the three remaining plants in the country within weeks.

Gunsan employs 2,000 out of GM’s 16,000-strong workforce in the Asian Nation. The authorities then stated that one out of five people in the city depended on GM for livelihood.

Moon’s office released a statement regarding the issue where Moon spoke to his aides at a regular meeting.

“Especially, the decline in employment (at GM) and subcontractors will be difficult to bear for Gunsan City and North Jeolla province,” Moon said.

Moon addressed the issue in public for the first time. He asked his administration to look for any possible mitigation measures.

He then suggested designating Gunsan as an “employment crisis area”. Additionally, Moon called for urgent measures to help the workers affected by the impending layoffs.

Since Moon’s take over last May, he’s been focusing on job creation, especially for the youth of his country. The closure of the GM plant was viewed as a drawback on his plans about boosting employment rate in South Korea.

Employees in Gunsan GM plant were quoted calling the shutdown a “death sentence”. They have since threatened a strike.

GM Plans to Introduce New Car Models in South Korea

BWorld - GMC logo on car grille

General Motors is working on producing two new car models that it will introduce in South Korea. Local Lawmaker Kim Sung-Tae quoted GM executive Barry Engle, who discussed the plans in a meeting with South Korean members of the parliament.

Engle is the current president of GM International. He didn’t provide further details on whether the production of the new car models will be dependent on government support.

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