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Hyundai’s Latest Decision Sparks Controversy in South Korea

Daniel Kim Views  

Hyundai Plans to Import ‘Sonata Taxi’ Produced in China

Recently, news broke that Hyundai could import the eighth-generation Sonata taxi produced in China. At the time, the Hyundai union claimed a collective agreement violation and opposed the move. Until now, the seventh-generation Sonata taxi has been produced in the Chungnam Asan factory, but due to decreased profitability, among other reasons, it was discontinued in July last year.

No Obligation to Consult with Labor Unions for Discontinued Models

The taxi industry has been calling for the production of a successor model. There was no appropriate car to operate as a taxi model. Some media outlets reported that Hyundai might re-import the eighth-generation Sonata, which was produced in the Beijing factory in China, as a domestic taxi model.

According to related reports, the union opposed the re-importation, claiming it violated the collective agreement. The principle is not to import finished cars and parts produced in domestic factories from overseas local factories.

However, Hyundai has stated that the Sonata taxi has already been discontinued in Korea, and the import does not violate the collective agreement and does not cause job insecurity. The taxi industry produces taxi models voluntarily, and information on the launch and specifications will be released in the future.

Diesel Engine Market Halts in South Korea

In South Korea, the diesel engine market is experiencing a significant slowdown. In 2018, GM Korea halted production of diesel engines following the discontinuation of its mid-size SUV, the Captiva, in the domestic market. On the other hand, Renault Korea relies entirely on imported units to meet the demand for diesel vehicles sold domestically.

The decline in demand for diesel vehicles among major domestic automakers has led to the discontinuation of diesel models, with over ten models being phased out in the past five years alone.

Only a handful of diesel models remain among the passenger cars offered by South Korea’s leading automakers. These include Hyundai’s Palisade, Genesis GV70, Kia’s Sorento, Mohave, KG Mobility’s Rexton, and Rexton Series.

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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