Dan Akerson, CEO of General Motors, says his company is making contingency plans to move workers from South Korea should tensions escalate further between that country and North Korea. While speaking in an interview on CNBC's Squawk Box, Akerson said, "We are making contingency plans for the safety of our employees to the extent that we can."

The executive also touched on production. GM has over 17,000 workers across five plants in South Korea, which produce around 1.3 million vehicles per year for export. Those include the Chevrolet Spark subcompact sold in North America. The factories also produce 145,000 vehicles for the South Korean Market.

Akerson says that GM can't shift production out of South Korea quickly, but that if the region continues to destabilize due to North Korean saber rattling, the company may have no choice but to consider shifting its operations out of the region as part of long-term planning. He also makes it clear that any issues in South Korea could have wide-ranging impacts on the global automotive industry as a whole. You can watch the interview for yourself below.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 32 Comments
      riserburn99andre
      • 1 Year Ago
      You people really don\'t have an idea about what\'s going on in North Korea. What Akerson is saying is more of a humanitarian aid to people his company employs. The main problem is in the first time in 6 decades North Korea has a leader with a small group who follow him. He is like a baby snake compared to an older one since he\'s trying to get a larger base of support and part of that is the threats. He will literally do anything, in and up to fighting, to consolidate that base. You all have to remember that the Korean War NEVER ENDED! The agreement was a ceasefire to the fighting but not a full end to the hostilities. This is further exascerbated byt he new South Korean President who has no real love for North Korea who will be a hardliner since she has bad blood with North Korea.
        Kahz
        • 1 Year Ago
        @riserburn99andre
        The South Korean President's parents were killed by North Korean agents. Ouch.
      ChaosphereIX
      • 1 Year Ago
      Won't hurt Spark sakes, they are dead already. But Encore is a big concern.
        the.fog
        • 1 Year Ago
        @ChaosphereIX
        You call roughly 3,000 sales per month "dead"? You must be a comedian!
        riserburn99andre
        • 1 Year Ago
        @ChaosphereIX
        That\'s just for the US, we have no idea how many they sell worldwide every month, it must be in the tens of thousands especially when factoring in third world markets.
      miles
      • 1 Year Ago
      That was painful to watch. I wish GM all the best, but I still think Akerson is an idiot, and this interview only reinforces my opinion of him.
      Walter A. Foreman
      • 1 Year Ago
      Complete b*llshit! They were talking about moving out of Korea long before any of this; he's just using it as an excuse!
        riserburn99andre
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Walter A. Foreman
        STFU, the Korean War has never stopped, but the valuable production in South Korea can not be overlooked. BTW it is am EXCELLENT excuse to move more than 1.3 million vehicles of production to somewhere safer. How about Taiwan... until the Chinese start grumbling to take them over... again
          Walter A. Foreman
          • 1 Year Ago
          @riserburn99andre
          I know the war was never, technically, ended. My point is that Akerson has been trying to move production out of Korea BEFORE the recent developments in S. Korea and is therefore using this just as an excuse. Truthaboutcars seems to agree: http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/04/akerson-uses-north-korea-to-threaten-south-korean-unions/#more-484099
      Healthy Chap
      • 1 Year Ago
      I don't expect NK to go balls deep. Neither does any sane person who's been following what young Kim's been up to. The guy was talking liberalization what, a month, two months ago? This is an internal power play more than anything, it will likely serve to justify upcoming reforms. Nuclear capabilities will serve to protect the regime, in turn. I mean come on, the guy uses an iMac.
        riserburn99andre
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Healthy Chap
        You really don\'t know North Korea. They have had many incursions into South Korea since 1953. They have huge dugouts to bring in huge amount of troops under ground. They have loudspeakers on the border and regularly call out names of people and congratulate them on birthdays, babies being born, weddings, etc. alarming withing the time frame it happened. You have no idea
      Dave
      • 1 Year Ago
      I wonder how many GM vehicles have components made in South Korea.
        Dreez28
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Dave
        What does it matter, name a automotive company that doesn't have components made somewhere in Asia. Welcome to the global market.
          Dave
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Dreez28
          It matters very much if there is a war on the Korean peninsula. Nearly all of the automakers were affected by the tsunami in Japan. If, for example, there are key components of the Silverado that are make in Korea, this is the time for GM to look at redundant production of those components elsewhere.
        Jerry
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Dave
        More than you realize!
      • 1 Year Ago
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        riserburn99andre
        • 1 Year Ago
        Umm.... They bought Daewoo around 2002. You also have to remember that this is a GLOBAL COMPANY. so yeah think global. You also lost about 3/4 of your audience by putting government motors in your tagline genius. Every company wants to reduce cost and please shareholders, name a company that doesn\'t please?
      The Wasp
      • 1 Year Ago
      Uh...he can't just uproot thousands of South Korean GM workers and make them leave their country. Certainly any US employees stationed there could be brought back, but the UAW and the US State Dept. would have a fit if GM tried to get work visas for a large group of factory workers. I think he meant to say they were looking at ways to move production (and probably a handful of employees) away from South Korea, if the region gets less stable.
        riserburn99andre
        • 1 Year Ago
        @The Wasp
        The US will do anything to assist South Korea. They would help those workers if need be until they can return to South Korea. You have no idea how many Koreans were brought back after the Korean War. The US will always help an ally, you should know that by now
          The Wasp
          • 1 Year Ago
          @riserburn99andre
          I do know the US will help an ally. I just think it's more likely that the US military would get involved on the Korean peninsula than GM bringing thousands of factory workers to the US (or anywhere else, for that matter).
          riserburn99andre
          • 1 Year Ago
          @riserburn99andre
          I know they wouldn\'t do it for a company(this isn\'t 1940) but if they do it in a timely fashion they could get the assistance they need. The main problem would be tying up needs air lanes or vehicles needed for military operations if that occurred.
      imoore
      • 1 Year Ago
      Akerson is showing concern for his employees. That\'s the real story here. Of course, he can\'t just up and move 17,000 employees and transfer production to other countries in a heartbeat, but still... As for Kim Jong Un, he\'s gone completely off his rocker. What is he trying to prove, anyway? Also, I\'ve read several reports yesterday that there are hundreds of Communist party members in Britain and the US who actually support North Korea\'s propaganda and war-mongering campaign. That\'s even worse. I\'m wondering if some of these NK sympathizers dare share their Daddy Kim loyalties here?
        riserburn99andre
        • 1 Year Ago
        @imoore
        What\'s more interesting is the Kim Il Sung had 2 sons. The other one was kicked out of NK because Kim Jung Il didn\'t want to have someone who looks EXACTLY like daddy walking around so he\'s like ambassador to Poland or something.
      Jeremy Pennini
      • 1 Year Ago
      "BMW Three Hundred" You mean three Series?
        mikoprivat
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Jeremy Pennini
        who the F**ck cares if it's 300 or 3 series or 3some...I hope he did it on purpose. He's not the CEO of BMW ergo who cares what he called it
          Yost
          • 1 Year Ago
          @mikoprivat
          The CEO of the company should know the competition - especially when the 3 series was the stated target of the ATS. Akerson is way out of his realm and he really needs to go ASAP.
          Dreez28
          • 1 Year Ago
          @mikoprivat
          The CEO shouldn't be worried about the specifics, that why he hires experts to worry about the competition. His worries are more focused on the big picture, as any CEO's should be. Also, remember that Akerson is the CEO of GM, which consists of many brands, many models and many markets. There is a lot to know. The fact that he knows as much as he does shows that he actually cares.
      • 1 Year Ago
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      • 1 Year Ago
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