GM Korea’s R&D unit to open this week as scheduled

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GM Korea’s R&D unit to open this week as scheduled

GM Korea, the South Korean unit of General Motors, said Monday that its separate R&D company will be launched this week as scheduled.

Early this month, GM Korea’s shareholders approved the spin-off plan with the Korea Development Bank (KDB), the carmaker’s second-biggest shareholder, backing the carmaker’s plan to spin off a research unit. The state lender had initially objected to the move.

The research unit, GM Technical Center Korea, will be formally opened Wednesday and will have some 3,000 employees, according to the local unit of the U.S. auto company.

The new stand-alone R&D center will lead global engineering for two vehicle programs allocated to GM Korea’s manufacturing operations - a subcompact sport utility vehicle and a cross utility vehicle-type model. The development is part of the company’s broader plan to become profitable and expand its presence in the country, GM Korea said earlier.

Workers at the carmaker have strongly opposed the plan as they see it as a step by the Detroit-based company to scale down facilities.

Last week, the KDB completed an investment of $750 million into GM Korea, which is part of a deal made with GM Korea in May this year.

Under the pact, the KDB pledged to add more funds, while GM agreed to provide $3.6 billion in fresh loans to keep GM Korea afloat.

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