Eight of South Korea’s biggest businesses, including Samsung and Hyundai, are being questioned by parliament in a rare TV hearing as part of a huge corruption inquiry.
The companies admitted giving millions of dollars to funds linked to President Park Geun-hye, but denied seeking favors.
Samsung admitted to giving the daughter of Park Geun-hye’s friend an expensive horse.
Parliament is due to vote on December 9 on the president’s impeachment over her involvement in the scandal.
Massive protests have been held in recent weeks demanding the president’s resignation.
The executives are being questioned by a cross-party committee of lawmakers. The panel has no power to punish but its chairman has said the hearing is a place for apology.
One of the corporate bosses acknowledged that it was difficult for companies to say no to government requests.
Image source Wikimedia
“It’s a South Korean reality that if there is a government request, it is difficult for companies to decline,” said Huh Chang-soo, head of the GS Group and chairman of the Federation of Korean Industries lobby group.
The conglomerates all gave large donations to non-profit foundations operated by Choi Soon-sil, a close confidante of Park Geun-hye.
Choi Soon-sil has been charged with coercion and attempted fraud.
Lawmakers spent the most time grilling Samsung’s Lee Kun-hee. Samsung has been accused of giving donations in exchange for support of a controversial merger that effectively strengthened his position in the company.
Samsung gave a total of 20.4 billion won ($17.46 million) to the two foundations.
Like the other leaders, Lee Kun-hee denied the allegations, saying Samsung “never provided support or gave donations in return for something”.
However, he admitted that his company provided a one billion won ($855,000) horse to Choi Soon-sil’s daughter, a professional equestrian, and said he regretted it.
Lee Kun-hee apologized for Samsung’s involvement in the scandal and said his company would “take all responsibility” if there was any.
South Korea’s family-owned conglomerates, known as chaebols, have increasingly been perceived as a symbol of the out-of-touch elite, and have become a target of public fury in recent protests calling for Park Geun-hye’s resignation.
The president has apologized multiple times to the public for allowing Choi Soon-sil inappropriate access to government decisions but has stopped short of resigning.
Last week Parke Geun-hye said she would leave it to parliament to decide her fate, and on December 6 she was quoted by her party’s leader as saying she would accept the outcome of December 9 impeachment vote.
Many people who conduct business in cities struggle to find the right vehicle. They will want a car that looks professional and portrays the right look, but you will also want good fuel economy so that the car is affordable to run. This also enables you to zip around the city with ease. Unfortunately, city cars often do not have the best MPG despite being smaller than most automobiles.
Any business person looking for a smart city car with high MPG should consider the following vehicles.
Mini Hatchback 3dr
This fantastic new hatchback from Mini is a superb choice for those looking for a stylish yet practical city business car. It has an impressive official figure of 80.7 MPG which makes it affordable to run and means you do not have to worry about finding a petrol station in the city often.
The Sandero is known for being an extremely affordable car, which sometimes deters motorists. However, it is an impressive city car which is both great to drive and portrays the right look. It boasts real life fuel economy of 61.7 MPG, so it is both affordable to buy and to run. Although it is not the most exciting vehicle, it does have a certain charm to it and it will fulfil the needs of anyone using it for business.
Image source Wikipedia
The Fiat Panda has a great look; it is full of character and it is terrific for town driving. Fiat is well-known for creating excellent city cars and this model is no exception as it is fun to drive and has real-life fuel economy of 61 MPG. It also features a button which lightens the steering, enabling you to easily navigate tight gaps and park with ease around the city.
The Hyundai i20 has been receiving rave reviews and is a great choice for business use in the city. It is attractive, spacious, affordable to buy and cheap to run. The 1.4-litre diesel engine has a true MPG of 59.4 MPG. This all ensures that it is sophisticated, practical and enjoyable to drive in town environments.
This superb all-electric car is superb for city use as it has agile handling, low running costs and it is extremely lightweight thanks to state-of-the-art construction techniques. Typical of BMW, it is also very sleek and sophisticated. It offers an impressive range of around 124 miles, but you can also invest in a range extender version. This features a two-cylinder petrol engine and adds another 80 miles of range. You will struggle to find a better city car for business use than the BMW i3.
Hyundai and Kia have agreed to pay a record $100 million settlement for overstating the fuel economy of their cars, the US regulators announce.
The South Korean carmakers were accused of overstating the fuel efficiency of 1.2 million vehicles.
The penalty is the largest ever paid for violation of the Clean Air Act, according to regulators.
“We are pleased to put this behind us,” said Hyundai US chief David Zuchowski, in a statement.
In November 2012, the two carmakers admitted to having overstated the fuel economy of their cars by up to six miles per gallon.
Hyundai and Kia have agreed to pay a record $100 million settlement for overstating the fuel economy of their cars
This, in turn, meant that the companies underreported the cars’ greenhouse gas emissions to the US Environmental Protection Agency by around 4.75 million metric tons.
As a result, Hyundai and Kia will also be forced to forfeit emissions credits for the difference between the original and the overstated data – worth approximately $200 million.
“This unprecedented resolution with Hyundai and Kia underscores the Justice Department’s firm commitment to safeguarding American consumers, ensuring fairness in every marketplace, protecting the environment, and relentlessly pursuing companies that make misrepresentations and violate the law,” said US Attorney General Eric Holder in a statement announcing the settlement.
Shares in both Hyundai and Kia declined nearly 6% in trading after markets had closed.
The allegations concern the Hyundai Accent, Elantra, Veloster and Santa Fe vehicles and the Kia Rio and Soul models.