SEOUL, Aug. 24 (Korea Bizwire) — With the new ‘contactless’ culture that has settled in with COVID-19, cars are beginning to be sold online, sparking a nationwide controversy as online car shopping is threatening the livelihood of offline dealers.
Gwangju Global Motors, a firm jointly established by Hyundai Motor Co. and the southwestern city of Gwangju, plans to release the Hyundai Casper mini SUV online next month in consideration of the pandemic.
This decision, however, has sparked controversy with Hyundai Motor’s labor union, and is seen as replacing the work of offline dealers.
Selling cars online has become a worldwide trend after the U.S. electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc. began to sell all of its cars online.
Online car shopping, however, still poses a problem for Hyundai Motor Co. and affiliate Kia Corp., which employ more than 10,000 offline dealers in the country. The two carmakers have yet to set up an online shopping platform for their vehicles.
The labor unions from the two companies are overreacting whenever the word ‘online’ is mentioned.
When Kia recently decided to begin pre-orders for its all-electric EV6 sedan online, the labor union strongly opposed the plan, claiming it “rouses confusion among offline dealerships.”
Online car shopping is quick to process, and even cheaper since it excludes commissions for dealers.
Customers that support the idea of online sales believe that paying commissions for dealers is unnecessary since specifications for cars and other documents needed for acquisition and registration can easily be found online.
H. M. Kang (firstname.lastname@example.org)