BUSAN, South Korea -- General Motors' Korea boss says there are no plans to shift production of Chevrolet-branded cars from factories in South Korea to Europe, where GM recently announced a restructuring at its Opel subsidiary.
"Are we looking at [it]? We always do. But do we have anything? No," Sergio Rocha, CEO of GM Korea, told reporters on the sidelines of the Busan auto show in South Korea on Thursday.
South Korea's traditionally militant trade unions are said to have threatened "war" with GM if it shifts output of Chevrolet models from Korea.
Most Chevrolet cars sold in Europe are built in South Korea and GM CEO Dan Akerson floated the idea in December that more cost-cutting at Opel could be accompanied by shifting production from Asia to make European plants more efficient.
Production of Chevrolet models including the Orlando crossover and Captiva midsized SUV could be moved from South Korea to Germany to replace lost capacity, reports said.
GM said last week that it will transfer production of the next-generation Astra compact model from Germany to its factories in Ellesmere Port, England, and Gliwice, Poland. The move will end production of the Astra at Opel's plant in Ruesselsheim, Germany, and leave another German plant in Bochum, which also builds an older Astra variant, in danger of closure.
In the first four months, Chevrolet sold 67,888 cars in the EU and EFTA countries, up 13.7 percent from the same period a year before, giving the brand a 1.5 percent market share, according data from industry association ACEA.
GM has said that its Opel unit, which posted a first-quarter loss of $256 million, needs to be overhauled, stoking workers' fears of plant closures.
Source: Reuters and Automotive News Europe