South Korea minister: GM"s local unit needs to survive on own in long term

SEOUL -- South Korea"s finance minister on Monday said that public funds could be used to support the South Korean auto unit of General Motors only if it was clear that the business could survive on its own long term.

Speaking to reporters after a policy meeting in Seoul, Kim Dong-yeon said major shareholders and other parties involved need to swiftly come to an agreement on sharing the burden of improving the loss-making operation.

GM shocked South Korea in February with plans to close one local plant and leaving the fate of three others unclear. It is seeking government funding and incentives as well as wage concessions to save the unit, which just posted an annual net loss of $1.1 billion, its fourth straight year in the red.

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