SEOUL, KOREA – Related businesses are buzzing with busybodies' gossips
Car-related businesses have been stirred by a small fuss on October 16th, about 160 days before the Seoul Motor Show 2013 will be held in March, 2013.
The buzz has been attributed to the Organization Committee for Seoul Motor Show, which sent a press release to reporters for the first time before the event. The title was "Cars moving without tires No tires in Seoul Motor Show."
Its main point was that the world's-best motor companies, including Korea's Hyundai Motors and Kia Motors, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Volkswagon, and Audi have finished applying for participation, but Hankook Tires, Korea's top tire brand, didn't apply for participation.
An official from the committee criticized the tire manufacturer for not having participated in any Seoul Motor Shows except for the first one back in 1999, while steadily participating in international motor shows. He pointed out the contradicting attitude of the company since it is putting all-out efforts into expanding its base in the global market with no interest in introducing new products in the domestic market.
Hankook Tires is holding on to its tough stance, arguing that it has no intention to display car parts in motor shows, at least superficially.
Moreover, as the main targets of Korea's top brand tire businesses, Hankook Tires and Kumho Tires are moving on to Europe's completed car market, it may be only natural for those manufacturers to reduce investment in the domestic market, according to market economy rules.
After the press release, various media reported the war of nerves between the organization committee and Hankook Tires by pumping out articles, such as "Seoul Motor Show 2013, Cars without Tires", "Seoul Motor Show; Hankook Tires is going to ruin the motor show". "Organization Committee for Seoul Motor Show; Hankook Tires Making a Mockery of Domestic Clients." and "Hankook Tires are Foreign Tires"
Officials in the motor industry are showing different reactions to this situation; some say Hankook Tires is going too far, while others say the organization committee is acting too harsh.
After those articles were released, the committee and Hankook Tires have refrained from aggravating the current situation, but it seems that they are not able to hide the obvious discomfort against each other.
Now both parties are on careful watch for each other. They are avoiding contact with the press, but still clearly demonstrating different positions in anonymous reports.
There is more interest in related businesses than ever as Seoul Motor Show has become one of the world's top five motor shows in the 15 years since the first show was held in 1999. More attention is being paid to how the war of nerves between the committee and the tire manufacturer will unravel.