Anchor: Major U.S. automaker General Motors(GM) has decided to close one of its four plants in South Korea, which employs about two-thousand workers. The South Korean government expressed deep regret over the decision and pledged to conduct an objective and transparent inspection to normalize management.
Alannah Hill has this report.
Report: General Motors(GM) said in a press release Tuesday that it will shut down its vehicle assembly plant in Gunsan, North Jeolla Province by the end of May.
The closure is expected to affect some two-thousand workers who produced about seven percent of the 520-thousand vehicles manufactured by GM Korea last year.
The South Korean government expressed deep regret over the decision and said it will carry out an inspection to normalize management.
First Vice Finance Minister Ko Hyoung-kwon convened a meeting of related agencies and said that in order to accurately determine the business situation, the Korea Development Bank, which owns a 17 percent stake in GM Korea, will consult with GM to conduct objective and transparent due diligence.
The government plans to continuously consult with GM on ways to normalize GM Korea's business operations, considering the impact on jobs and the local economy.
GM Korea Chief Executive Kaher Kazem said the measure is a difficult but necessary first step in its efforts to restructure operations in South Korea.
A GM Korea official said that the decision came after concluding that it is impossible to pursue a turnaround while maintaining all production equipment.
The Gunsan facility, which had been producing the Cruze compact car and the Orlando multi-purpose vehicle, has been operating at some 20 percent of capacity over the past three years.
Alannah Hill, KBS World Radio News.