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Auto-parts Company Cancelled Plan to Establish R&D Center in Korea

Auto-parts Company Cancelled Plan to Establish R&D Center in Korea

Posted September. 07, 2003 23:05,   


It was belatedly learned that TI Automotive, a British multinational auto-parts maker, decided to establish its R&D center for the Asia-Pacific region in Japan instead of Korea due to belligerent Korean labor unions and backward living conditions, particularly in such areas as education and accommodation.

The auto-parts maker, located in Cheonan, South Chungcheong Province, decided to establish its Asia-Pacific R&D center in Japan, not Korea, in July, business sources said Sunday.

At first, TI Automotive made active preparations for an R&D center in Korea by purchasing land in the Cheonan industrial complex.

However, the firm had decided to establish the center in Japan instead of Korea due to belligerent trade unions, concerns about possible failures to provide auto parts in time after the truckers’ walkout in May, and inconvenient living conditions around the Cheonan area for foreign workers’ children’s education and accommodations.

“The participatory government can realize its dream to make the country the hub of the Northeastern Asia when living conditions and labor-management relationships improve enough for foreign companies to establish an R&D center,” a well-informed source of the company stressed.

R&D centers, where the talented minds of a company are concentrated, can have positive effects on the nation by attracting foreign investment and improving related technologies.

TI Automotive is a multinational company producing automobile brakes and gas tanks. Its headquarters are based both in Oxford, Britain and in Michigan in the United States. TI has 100 production lines in 29 countries worldwide and 20,000 employees. Last year its total sales reached 2.3 billion dollars with its sales in Korea accounting for approximately 80 billion won.

Chan-Sun Hong hcs@donga.com