Hyundai Motor's steady climb in the global auto industry has nurtured a strong base of local suppliers, and South Korean parts makers could be looking at more business overseas after adding premium car brand BMW to their list of clients.Well, that could be good for Volkswagen as well, which I've never associated with high quality (well, not since my dad sold the Squareback back in the late 1970s. As I write this, my neighbor across the street is having her Volkswagen Beetle (the new one) towed. "It constantly breaks down," she says, "I don't know why my husband bought this." But it is cute.
BMW, the world's top maker of premium cars, said on Friday it now has contracts with 12 South Korean suppliers, as it announced a fresh $170 million brake deal with Mando Corp.
News that the marquee brand much admired for its engineering expertise was sourcing so heavily in Korea pushed up shares in parts makers such as SL Corp and Pyeong Hwa Automotive Co, which have a relatively high presence overseas compared with their local peers.
"This is the first time that a luxury car brand has made it public that it will use Korean parts in its cars," said Ko Tae-bong, an analyst at IBK Investment & Securities.
"We expect this to have a ripple effect on other automakers such as Volkswagen," he added.
Anyway, I wonder if Mando's motto — Mando Can Do! — had anything to do with the decision. (I'm making that up.)