GM Korea CEO Roberto Rempel, L, gives a thumbs up along with the first Korean customer of the Chevrolet Trax Crossover at the automaker’s head office west of Seoul Wednesday. Photo courtesy of GM Korea

Automaker chalks up solid performances in 2022

General Motors announced on April 7 that the U.S. automaker turned a profit in South Korea last year after accumulating big losses for the past nine years.

GM Korea said that it had chalked up $6.83 billion in 2022 sales, up 29 percent from a year ago, for an operating profit of $210 million. In 2021, the outfit suffered an operating loss amounting to $280 million.

Between 2014 and 2021, GM Korea accumulated multi-billion-dollar losses as its annual sales more than halved during the eight-year period, from over 600,000 cars to about 230,000 units.

GM Korea managed to raise the figure to more than 260,000 vehicles last year, up 11.7 percent from 2021. In particular, its 2022 export jumped 24.6% year-on-year.

The carmaker strives to jack up the yearly sales to 500,000 in 2023.

“Favorable foreign currency exchange, export volumes, pricing strength, increased semi-conductor availability, and a continued focus on reducing costs were the key drivers of performance in 2022,” GM Korea CEO Roberto Rempel said.

“To achieve sustainable business performance, we must continue to focus on responding to external challenges, as well as the things we can control within our business: reducing cost; successful launch of new vehicles; expansion of our import portfolio, and implementing new growth opportunities.”

Observers point out that GM Korea should raise its market share in the South Korean market to keep remaining profitable.

“GM Korea has concentrated on a few famous models to turn a profit, which appears to be the right decision. But the problem is that more than 80% of its sales come from exports,” Daelim University automotive professor Kim Pil-soo said.

“Most of all, GM Korea is required to sell more vehicles in the domestic market with such models as the recently launched Chevrolet Trax Crossover. Then, it will be able to increase the size of profits in the coming years.”

GM Korea started delivering the Chevrolet Trax Crossover vehicles to Korean motorists this week.

The publisher studied Korean history in Seoul and management of business administration in the United Kingdom. He has 20-year experiences in the media business. Kim can be reached at or 82-2-6956-6698.