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Chevrolet Camaro in Korea – Click above for high-resolution image

There once was a time when Daewoo was one of the biggest companies in South Korea. It was larger than both LG and Samsung, and second only to Hyundai. But these days the name is all but gone.

The Korean government disbanded the Daewoo Group in 1999. At that point GM already owned about half of Daewoo Motors, a stake that has varied over time. Ever since, the General has used Daewoo's resources to develop and produce a range of vehicles sold under other GM divisions, principally Chevrolet, which has already replaced Daewoo in many markets to become GM's principal global brand. (The globalization of Chevrolet has escalated to such an extent that, over the course of last year, somewhere in the world, a Chevy was being sold every 7.4 seconds.)

One of the few exceptions has been in Korea itself, where the Daewoo name still means something. But that something isn't necessarily good, and so GM is phasing out the name even in the brand's own domestic market. The development has been a long time coming, and will encompass both the cars themselves and the company that builds them. GM Daewoo Auto & Technology Co. is officially changing its name to GM Korea Co by the end of the quarter.

In an odd bit of history repeating, the company was called GM-Korea once before, after Detroit stepped in to take over half the company from Toyota, which had collaborated with what was then known as Shinjin Motor until 1972. Full details of the announcement in the press release after the jump.

[Source: GM]
Show full PR text

Chevrolet Takes Center Stage in Korea

* Chevrolet replacing GM Daewoo to be GM's primary brand in Korea
* GM Korea Co. to be new company name by end of Q1

Seoul – In a move designed to enhance its presence in Korea and to bolster its domestic sales operations, GM Daewoo Auto & Technology Co. (GM Daewoo) announced today that it is replacing the current nameplate with the world's fastest-growing automotive brand, Chevrolet.

All of the company's new product introductions and refreshes this year will be under the Chevrolet badge. Additionally, GM Daewoo announced that it will be changing its company name to GM Korea Co., which is globally consistent with all other GM country operations. The company name change is expected to be completed by the end of Q1.

"This important new brand strategy is designed to strengthen our commitment to the Korean market, recognizing it as one of the strongest-performing countries within GM's global operations. We are well positioned to bring one of the world's iconic brands to Korea," said Mike Arcamone, President and CEO of GM Daewoo. "We cannot afford to sit still, and instead, choose to make a bold move with the launch of Chevrolet in Korea."

GM's market research overwhelmingly points to consumer acceptance of the Chevrolet brand in Korea. "This new growth opportunity will allow us to compete in brand new segments and offer our customers more choices than ever before, resulting in a strong future for our company, our employees and our sales agents," said Arcamone.

This year, the company will begin its most aggressive vehicle launch plan in its history and will have an all-new product lineup with the introduction of eight new models carrying the Chevrolet name. The portfolio includes the Chevrolet Camaro, Chevrolet Orlando, the Chevrolet Aveo global small car, as well as a new SUV and a new premium midsize sedan.

"Not only are we giving Korean consumers more vehicle choices than ever before, but in order to ensure Chevrolet's long-term success in the domestic market, we are totally redesigning our dealerships, A/S networks and sales networks so that customers will be able to enjoy Chevrolet's award-winning dealership experience and service," said Arcamone. "Our main goal is to achieve the highest levels of customer satisfaction and loyalty."

This next step of its evolution recognizes the company's rich heritage and GM's commitment to Korea, which is one of GM's primary production and engineering operations. "Our sales increased 20 percent last year, our domestic market share increased double-digits and our exports soared 35 percent," said Arcamone. "We are able to make this bold, strategic move to Chevrolet because of the hard work and dedication of our 17,000 employees, who have unflinchingly focused on increasing our domestic market share and supporting Chevrolet's global growth in our export markets."

According to GM, a Chevrolet was sold somewhere in the world every 7.4 seconds in 2010. Last year, more than 4.25 million Chevrolets were sold around the globe, and currently one out of every four Chevrolet vehicles is manufactured in Korea.

In step with its new brand strategy, the GM Daewoo Board of Directors, factoring in the best interests of the company, its employees, shareholders, dealers and suppliers, approved the new company name this morning. The current GM Korea will keep its name, GM Korea Ltd., and its focus will remain on the Cadillac brand.

"Changing our corporate name will increase our standing within GM globally while demonstrating our commitment to growing locally," said Arcamone. "With the significant changes that we are announcing today, our goal is to increase our domestic sales and market share, generate additional revenue, strengthen our relationship with the customers, create new jobs and expand our presence in Korea. We regard these moves as a key to our long-term success and fundamentally believe they will also bring added benefits to our customers and the Korean economy."

Founded in 1911 and named after famous, Swiss-born race car driver Louis Chevrolet, Chevrolet is one of GM's four core brands and its largest brand. Chevrolet's celebrates its 100th anniversary this year with sales in more than 120 countries The Chevrolet brand constitutes 53 percent of GM's global business.

GM Daewoo played a lead role in the design, engineering and manufacturing of the Chevrolet Cruze global compact sedan, the new Chevrolet Spark global mini-car, and the new Chevrolet Aveo global small car.

"Chevrolet has enjoyed success in mature markets in North America and Europe, as well as in emerging markets in Asia Pacific, CIS countries, and Latin America," said Arcamone. "We are confident our customers in Korea will embrace Chevrolet as well."

About GM Daewoo

GM Daewoo Auto & Technology was established on October 17, 2002. It has five manufacturing facilities in Korea as well as an assembly facility in Vietnam. In addition, GM Daewoo provides market and brand-specific vehicle kits for assembly at GM facilities in China, Thailand, India, Colombia and Venezuela. 2010, GM Daewoo sold in Korea and exported more than 1.7 million units, including CKD products. GM Daewoo now produces vehicles and kits that are offered in more than 150 markets on six continents. More information on GM Daewoo and its products can be found on the company's website at http://media.gmdaewoo.co.kr/.

About Chevrolet

Chevrolet is a global automotive brand, with annual sales of more than 4.25 million vehicles in more than 120 countries. Chevrolet provides consumers with fuel-efficient, safe and reliable vehicles that deliver high quality, expressive design, spirited performance and value. The Chevrolet portfolio includes iconic performance cars such as Corvette and Camaro; dependable, long-lasting pickups and SUVs such as Silverado and Suburban; and award-winning passenger cars and crossovers such as Spark, Cruze, Malibu, Equinox and Traverse. Chevrolet also offers "gas-friendly to gas-free" solutions including Cruze Eco and Volt. Cruze Eco offers 42 mpg highway while Volt offers 35 miles of electric, gasoline-free driving and an additional 344 miles of extended range. Most new Chevrolet models offer OnStar safety, security and convenience technologies including OnStar Hands-Free Calling, Automatic Crash Response and Stolen Vehicle Slowdown. More information regarding Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.


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  • 34 Comments
      Atef Hassan
      • 3 Years Ago
      I have purchased AVEO car from ( Mansour Egypt ) 3 years ago and I have a problem started from the first month with the RPM , which periodically increased in idle case I went to your agent in (Alexandria ,Egypt ) for 2 years, but nothing changed I hate my car now , I hate all Chevrolet cars and I became crazy , Please HELP engatef2000@gmail.com
      • 4 Years Ago
      I guess the decision is bitter sweet for me.
      As a kid growing up in Korea in the late 90s, Daewoos were good cars (to say the most). My mom's side of the family were faithful Daewoo owners and they still are, even my aunt worked for Daewoo for years before they went bankrupt. So I'm sad that the Daewoo name is going away forever but kind of glad since the cars were seen as jokes even in Korea.
      • 4 Years Ago
      "It's a brilliant idea! I'm going to change my name to 'George Clooney' to make me attractive and you all would wanna, sleep with me!"
      - Jeremy Clarkson

      Really though, the question is: will that increase the value of former Daewoo cars, or will it bring down the Chevy nameplate?
        Luis A. Martinez
        • 2 Years Ago
        Now is a $30k Buick and a small SUV from Cadillac build in Mexico too,how funny and they said is a new GM?
      • 4 Years Ago
      different name same junk
      • 4 Years Ago
      In just 2 years in Korea, I saw more S-Classes, M5s, 7 Series, Gallardos, 911 Turbos, Bentley Continentals than anywhere else I've been. They are all about HYUNDAI until they get a few more 00s added to their income, then it's foreign all the way. There isn't any room for mansions and such, so expensive cars is one of the few ways to publicly show off their wealth. The only guy I knew who felt the Genesis was superior to it's foreign competitors was the chief quality control engineer for... you guessed it... the Genesis :)
      Luis A. Martinez
      • 2 Years Ago
      Nice move,now sell them as Buick and gone soon is Opel
      Seager@London_GB
      • 3 Years Ago
      And also Daewoo far much cheaper
      • 4 Years Ago
      Myself as a Korean, it is a sad thing considering Daewoos were the best cars in the 80s. My dad's first car was a 85 Royal XQ, which was based on Rekord, second one was the 92 Espero, third one, which we still own, is a 97 Prince. I owned it for about four months too. Another thing that makes me sad is that why Koreans do not have pride in their domestic brand. For the past few years, people were in a craze to replace Daewoo emblems into whatever car it was sold overseas, just because it "looked better". Some owners who owned a car that has nothing to do with GM changed their emblems into Chevy as well, and looking into Korea's largest car forum Bobaedream, it seems people just don't care about a domesic brand disappearing.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Do you live in the U.S.?Your english is good!! I've seen your ID in bobaedream too and I didn't recognize this ID as same you using in bobaedream. But I cannot write anything in there because I'm not a member and I didn't receive birth certificate in Korea yet so it is kinda complicated to register.Anyways please remember my name when I go there.^^Let's share many INFOs~~~(Sorry for all for unreleated topic.-_-;;;)
      • 4 Years Ago
      I guess we can't call them re-badged Daewoo's anymore.
      • 4 Years Ago
      'Bout damn time. The only area where Daewoo is a remotely positive name is military equipment and weaponry.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I was in Canada for about four and a half years.. came back five years ago
      Korean websites give you a hard time when you try to become a member lol.. I first made my cell phone when i turned 20 and these F-ing sites won't let me in if i didn't have a cell phone under my name.. neways I'll look for... K7? do u use the very same user name?
      • 4 Years Ago
      I had a Daewoo once.. it was called a Pontiac Lemans. Was a gr8 little car until you had to find parts. believe my Lemans was an Opel Cadet across the Atlantic
        szilard_toth
        • 1 Year Ago
        Had a Pontiac (Mnfrd by Daewoo Motor) Le Mans too a decade ago. Now I'd like to get another one. BUT nowdays it's hard to find one.
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