Korean Media Reports Delays in Georgia Kia Plant
Governments, businesses, and individuals have already made many claims and plans in anticipation of this plant coming to West Point. Scandals slam across the world could very well influence us right here.
A widening bribery scandal in South Korea has scrapped another groundbreaking party for Kia Motors' new factory in West Point, starting the first ominous rumors that the $1.2 billion plant may be in jeopardy.
Accusations of graft and financial misconduct at Kia and its parent, Hyundai, could disrupt the Georgia factory's construction "for a long time," an unidentified senior Kia official told the Korea Times on Thursday.
At the same time, Chosun Ilbo, another Korean newspaper, reported that Hyundai has virtually suspended new overseas business plans while it's engulfed in the corruption investigation.
Korean prosecutors suspect Kia and Hyundai raised multimillion-dollar slush funds to bribe public officials and illegally transfer ownership of the company from Chung Mong-Koo, Hyundai's chairman, to his only son, Kia President Chung Eui-sun. Investigators on Thursday questioned the Kia president as part of their probe. His father could face similar questioning next week.
Hyper-competetive capitalism merges with corruption? Welcome to yet another dark side of globalism. An often ignored reality of unregulated free market capitalism is that you don't always have to be a player to lose in the game. Peace ... or War!
Update - Evening of April 21, 2006 - A young man wearing a white Hyundai golf shirt and black trousers was asking for directions at a store that I stopped by this afternoon in Franklin. He appeared to be of Korean ethnicity. Perhaps no need to panic and yet I do think the above is a good illustration of globalism.