GM to Trim Office Staff in South Korea

by Christopher Freeburn | November 20, 2012 12:56 pm

General Motors GM[1]General Motors (NYSE:GM[2]) announced on Tuesday that it will reduce its South Korean office workforce by an unspecified number through voluntary early retirements[3].

Workers who accept retirement packages will receive two years of salary and school tuition support. They’ll also get a car voucher valued at $9,200. Employees have until Dec. 14 to accept the retirement offer, Reuters noted.

The offer was originally extended to senior office staff, but will now be available to all 7,000 GM Korea office workers. GM does not plan to cut its 10,000 manufacturing workers in South Korea.

The car market in South Korea has contracted due to a slowing economy. GM is restructuring its operations in the country as it struggles to compete with domestic rivals Hyundai (PINK:HYMTF[4]) and Kia (PINK:KIMTF[5]), which together control 80% of the market, as well as imports from overseas carmakers.

GM’s market share in South Korea has remained under 10% each year since 2008.

The union representing GM’s Korean workers criticized the move, noting that the company had earlier said it would not produce its new Chevrolet Cruze sedan in the country.

Shares of GM slid more than 1% in Tuesday afternoon trading.

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