A nationwide labor-union strike in Korea could put a serious strain on Hyundai's quest for ever-higher sales, and it could very well affect your ability to buy a new Hyundai, if it doesn't come to a conclusion soon.
The labor union operating in Hyundai's facilities staged its first nationwide strike in over a decade, Reuters reports. This follows a series of partial strikes that have been ongoing since July. Thus far, these stoppages have cost the company about $2.2 billion in lost production, amounting to some 114,000 vehicles.
Hyundai's manufacturing efforts in South Korea accounted for roughly 40 percent of its global vehicle sales last year.
Last month, Hyundai's unionized workers voted against a new package that was deemed less generous than last year's. With wage talks going nowhere, the union felt it had no choice but to take action against the automaker.
If this continues, there's a good chance it may start affecting vehicle supply around the world, including the US. If you're thinking of pulling the trigger on a Hyundai, you may want to act fast, lest your preferred color and package combination temporarily cease to exist.
This could also blow over quickly. The less generous offering to Hyundai's union follows 10 straight quarters in which profit fell, so it's a fair argument that the union shouldn't receive more while the company receives less. Furthermore, Hyundai's union has gone on some level of strike in 25 of the union's 29 years, according to Reuters, so it's a pretty common tactic. Nevertheless, it's going to hurt Hyundai's bottom line.