Newly built cars are being kicked out of car factories one by one amid a shortage of vehicles amid an ongoing truckers’ strike, industry officials said on Friday.
The government has issued temporary permits allowing automakers to do so to reduce delays in the delivery of new vehicles to customers. It is known that Hyundai Motor Group units, including its logistics company Hyundai Glovis, have deployed employees to deliver new Hyundai Motor, Kia and Genesis cars to warehouses one by one, as they cannot rely on transport trucks that can carry multiple cars. cars at once due to the strike.
On 7 June, most of the 25,000 truck drivers from Truckers Solidarity and many non-union truck drivers went on strike, demanding that the government expand the freight rate system to guarantee them a basic wage amid soaring oil prices.
As of Friday, the strike had continued for four days, with the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport saying 7,800 drivers were still on strike, refusing to return to work. Domestic Korean car brands have already been suffering disruption for the past three years due to problems with the global supply chain, and the strike is making their situation much worse.
Representatives of the local automotive industry said the truckers’ strike had caused delays in the delivery of new cars, hurting not only automakers but also customers in Korea and around the world who had purchased new cars.
“After automakers produce new cars in factories, the new cars need to be sent to warehouses. And then the cars are shipped to ports for export or delivered to different points in the country for domestic customers. But the truckers’ strike has hampered the transportation. process, which is severely detrimental to both car manufacturers and buyers,” a local automobile company official said on condition of anonymity. The official said there had been disruptions in the transportation of not only new cars but also car components, causing delays in production processes.
“The strike may add to the inconvenience to customers due to the long waiting period for the handover of new cars due to delays in car production caused by the continued shortage of car chips and problems with the global supply chain,” he said.
Another industry spokesman said it seemed impossible to solve the problem. “The truckers’ strike is what they are targeting the government at a time when petrol prices are skyrocketing globally,” said the first anonymous official. “Since the strike has seriously affected not only the auto industry but also other sectors like retail, we have no choice but to wait for the government to actively address the issue.”
As for the truckers’ strike, an association made up of companies in the auto industry criticised the move, saying the truck union was killing the industry with its strike.
“At a time when the auto industry is battling a global supply crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and semiconductor supply disruptions, truckers are being extremely selfish in announcing strikes and disrupting logistics activities in the industry,” Korea Automotive said in a statement. The Industry Alliance said in a statement issued on Thursday.