Foreign automakers stingy in charity, generous in dividends

Foreign automakers stingy in charity, generous in dividends

Foreign automakers in Korea are very thrifty when it comes to local charity donations although they are generous in paying hefty dividends to their major shareholders, market data showed Thursday.

The combined dividends of the major foreign automakers was around 83.6 billion won ($73 million) last year while their domestic donations stood at 4.2 billion won, according to their audited financial reports.

Among the foreign automakers, Mercedes-Benz Korea paid dividends of 58.5 billion won, Audi Volkswagen Korea disbursed 16 billion won, Porsche Korea recorded 6 billion won and Volvo Korea logged 3 billion won.

As for donations, Mercedes-Benz Korea spent around 2 billion won, BMW Korea paid 1.8 billion won, Hanbul Motors Corp donated 210 million won and Porsche Korea gave 150 million won.

Mercedes-Benz Korea’s donation amount is quite small compared to the dividends it paid to its two major shareholders Daimler AG and Hong Kong-based paper company Star Auto Holdings.

The company’s spokesperson told The Korea Herald it plans to expand local charity donations this year.

Audi Volkswagen Korea made no allocations for charity except for holding a soccer tournament for local children, although it disbursed a huge amount as dividends.

The automaker’s spokesperson justified it by saying, “The company halted most of its events after the emissions-rigging scandal broke last year.” Noting that for the past decade, it has spent 1.1 billion won on donations.

Volvo Korea allocated no money for charity as the company said its sales and organization are still small compared to other leading foreign automakers.

BMW Korea and Hanbul Motors Corp., on their part, spent 1.8 billion won and 200 million won each on donations without distributing dividends.


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