- President Kim Dae-Jung visit a Kia Motors plant in Sohari.
President and Mrs. Kim, Dae-Jung on Wednesday touring a Kia Motors Corp. production line in Sohari. Chairman Chung, Mong-Koo and President Kim, Noi-Myung of Kia Motors (from left), guided Mr. Kim around the line
“ There was the time of economic crisis which put us to remind of Kia Motors.” President Kim Dae-Jung said.
On the eve of the ahead-of-time completion of repaying loans of $19.5 billion arranged by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), President Kim Dae-Jung visited a Kia Motors plant in Sohari, Kyonggi-do, on the morning of 22nd Aug with guidance of Chairman Chung Mong-Koo and president Kim Noi-Myung of KIA Motors.
Kim had a reason to choose the Kia plant as the site of his tour on this very day. Kia has been remembered as the seed of Korea’s biggest economic tragedy at the time of financial crisis in 1997. However, with extensive restructuring, marketing, and making the highest overseas sales volume ever last year, Kia Motors has been recommended as an industry, which have made a success in renovation.
“I’m glad to see you working in the company that has been transformed into one of the country’s primary economic engines.” Kim told Kia workers.
Kim also encouraged them to make strenuous efforts, so that Korean automotive industry must be able to lead Korea to one of global top 3 automotive countries by 2010.
During Kim’s tour at Sohari plant, he showed special interest in production line of New Carnival, which is in great demand in domestic and North America market these days.
The President called on them to gather wisdom in the collective effort to overcome ongoing economic difficulties, pointing out that the country is faced with contracted internal consumption and a slump in trading partner’s economies.
The country’s economy under-performed projections in the second quarter this year; with growth rate likely to be readjusted downward.
Against this dim background, President Kim tried to be upbeat, saying that the situation is not as bad as thought and he pointed at usable foreign reserves of nearly $100 billion as proof.
Kia Motors Corp. recently announced that it received overseas long-term credit ratings of BB- and Ba3, respectively, from the worldwide evaluation institutions of S&P (Standard & Poor’s) and Moody’s. As well, credit prospects in the future were marked as ‘Stable`.
S&P and Moody`s granted the ratings by evaluating positively the improvements made in financial structure, better liquidity, the joint relationship with Hyundai Motor and improvement of productivity, strong market position within Korea, increase of market share rate in the US, the increase of exports and other factors.