Though Daewoo has been quietly soldiering on in its native South Korea, its time is up. Chevrolet has been elected to take over sales duties.
After considerable research and watching over South Korean auto market trends, the bowtie brand will be General Motors’ new primary marque within the peninsula nation. GM took control of Daewoo in 2002; today, the brand holds just a 9-percent market share and has languished behind the mighty Hyundai-Kia corporation.
“We have studied the brand issue in depth for a long time and have come to the conclusion that launching a new brand strategy and making Chevrolet our primary brand is good for all stakeholders, including especially Korean consumers,” Daewoo corporate relations spokesman Park Haeho told Automotive News.
To start, there will be an official name change. The company currently known as GM Daewoo Auto & Technology Co. is set to raise the GM Korea Co. banner by the end of the first quarter this year. Another business entity called GM Korea Ltd remains responsible for Cadillac developments.
“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 Mike Arcamone, Daewoo president and CEO. “Our main goal is to achieve the highest levels of customer satisfaction and loyalty.”
Q1 2011 will witness the Camaro’s launch in South Korea, the first Chevy to officially join the market. In its footsteps is a wave of new and refreshed vehicles, some of which we’ve become familiar with in the U.S. Upcoming offerings include the Captiva crossover, Cruze, Orlando, Sonic, and Spark. And lest we forget, Daewoo had its hand in the R&D processes for GM’s global small cars.
GM reports that over 4.25 million Chevy vehicles were sold around the world in 2010, which works out to one sale every 7.4 seconds. The sales total grew Chevrolet’s worldwide market share by 0.35 point to 5.8 percent.
Sources: Automotive News (Subscription required), GM