Maybach Korea’s Songdo project faces delay over scandal
Alice Lee, March 13, 2017, 9:51 a.m.
A plan to build the world’s first business center from ultra-luxury German carmaker Maybach in Songdo, west of Seoul, is facing possible delays over a political scandal the company has denied any involvement in.
Maybach Korea, a local office of Daimler Group, has been facing market speculations that the project may have been consulted with by a close friend to Choi Soon-sil, the woman at the center of the influence-peddling scandal that led to the impeachment of former President Park Geun-hye.
Some local newspapers have suggested that the project was driven by Choi, citing how David Yoon, a Korean German businessman close to Choi, provided consulting services for the German carmaker in regard to its construction plan of a business center in the South Korean city.
The office has been seeking legal measures to fend off the reports and rumors, saying they have seriously damaged its brand reputation and caused a delay in the project.
The 1 trillion-won ($872 million) project is to build a commercial center housing a business center, luxury stores, a museum on automobiles and Hallyu content.
Last year, Maybach Korea signed an exclusive contract for the use of its brand with Wolfgang Thelen, head of Maybach Icons of Luxury, attending the ceremony. David Yoon, a business partner at that time, also attended the ceremony to provide interpretation and consulting services, the company said. News reports that have speculated on the project being led by Choi are groundless, the company said.
Maybach Korea said it planned to seek compensation on damages to its corporate reputation against reports that raise Choi‘s connection to the project officials.