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After months of debate, GM Korea to launch R&D unit next month

GM Korea’s new research and development entity, dubbed GM Technical Center Korea, is expected to officially launch early next year, after its second-largest shareholder gave the green light despite strong opposition from its union, the company said Friday.

The local unit of US auto giant General Motors said in an official notice that the “due date for the spinoff has been decided as Dec. 31 at a board meeting held on Dec. 18, and registration is slated for Jan. 2.” 


Roughly 3,000 workers of some 13,000 for GM Korea are expected to transfer to the new R&D body, which has been assigned by the GM headquarters to oversee design and production of sport and crossover utility vehicle models.

Last month GM tapped Roberto Rempel, executive chief engineer for small SUVs and mini vehicles, to head GM Technical Center Korea.

Earlier this week, the state-run Korea Development Bank came on board with the plans for the R&D unit. The unionized labor of GM Korea, however, remains at unease over the spinoff, claiming the company would eventually withdraw operations here if the R&D unit is accepted.

In opposition, the union staged an eight-hour partial strike earlier this week, following KDB’s approval of the new entity.

GM Korea has filed an injunction to prevent further unlawful strikes.

By Kim Bo-gyung (
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Korea Herald daum