Auto sector sees growth and retreat
In the same month as General Motors announced it would offer buyouts to its manufacturing workers as part of its economic restructuring plan, another international automaker announced plans to expand operations in the U.S.
GM’s plan to offer early retirement buyout packages to more than 125,000 workers came in the same month as Korean automaker Kia announced plans to invest $1.2 billion in its first U.S. manufacturing facility. Kia will build in West Point, GA.
Kia’s sales are on the rise, but so has its currency against the dollar, so building the facility in the U.S. also gives Kia a hedge against continuing currency issues. Kia expects to employ 2,500 workers and build 300,000 cars in the U.S. when the plant opens in 2009.
Some of those workers could be former GM employees. GM’s restructuring plan would offer buyouts of up to $140,000 per worker, depending on years or service and retirement benefits. The plan would also include auto parts maker Delphi.