Workers leave a Hyundai Motor Co. factory in Ulsan, 414 kilometers southeast of Seoul, after work on February 5, 2020 (Yonhap)

SEOUL, August 24 (Korea Bizwire)With the new ‘contactless’ culture that has taken hold with COVID-19, cars are starting to be sold online, sparking controversy nationwide as online car purchases threaten dealership livelihoods offline.

Gwangju Global Motors, a company jointly created by Hyundai Motor Co. and the southwestern city of Gwangju, plans to bring the Hyundai Casper mini SUV online next month due to the pandemic.

The move, however, has sparked controversy with the Hyundai Motor union and is seen as replacing the work of offline dealers.

Selling cars online has become a global trend after U.S. electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc. started selling all of its cars online.

Buying cars online, however, is still a problem for Hyundai Motor Co. and its subsidiary Kia Corp., which employ more than 10,000 offline dealers in the country. The two manufacturers have not yet set up an online shopping platform for their vehicles.

The unions at both companies overreact whenever the word “online” is mentioned.

When Kia recently decided to start pre-orders for its all-electric EV6 sedan online, the union strongly opposed the plan, saying it “is confusing offline dealerships.”

Online car purchases are quick to process and even cheaper because they exclude dealer commissions.

Customers who support the idea of ​​online sales believe that there is no need to pay dealer commissions, as car specifications and other documents needed for acquisition and registration can easily be found. in line.

HM Kang ([email protected])


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