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Tuesday, March 01, 2011

GM Korea says goodbye to Daewoo, hello to Chevrolet

GM Korea says goodbye to Daewoo, hello to Chevrolet

SEOUL: GM Korea Co, the South Korean unit of US automaker General Motors Co, will officially launch the Chevrolet brand in South Korea this week, saying goodbye to Daewoo, a name that has endured in South Korea for the past 28 years, Yonhap News Agency reported the company as saying Monday.

The name of the company will officially be changed to GM Korea from GM Daewoo also from Tuesday, it added.

"The change of the company name is an evolution from a company that does export sales and also domestic sales. We are a global company that works in Korea. This is a revolutionary pivot for us and an imperative decision," GM Korea president and CEO Mike Arcamone had said, introducing the new company name and the Chevrolet brand for the first time in January.

GM Korea has already introduced three Chevrolet vehicles in South Korea - the multi-purpose vehicle Orlando, small passenger car Aveo and Chevrolet's iconic sports car the Camaro - with their deliveries scheduled to begin late next month.

The company plans to introduce an additional five Chevrolet vehicles here this year under what Arcamone has called an "unprecedentedly aggressive launch programme" designed to boost the company's domestic sales.

"This is a good change. It is in the best interest of customers, our company, its employees, shareholders, dealers, suppliers and indeed the people of Korea," he had said.

All new makeovers of former GM Daewoo cars will also come with the Chevrolet brand.
The only immediate concern for GM Korea and its officials is that many local customers, unfamiliar with the Chevrolet brand, may mistake their new vehicles as products by an entirely different or smaller manufacturer as, in South Korea, the name of a vehicle brand is almost without fail the name of its maker, a GM Korea official noted.

To prevent such confusion, the company is planning a massive launch event here Tuesday when it will also announce new marketing strategies that have "never been seen before" in South Korea for new Chevrolet vehicles, the official said.

GM Korea is struggling to increase its market share in South Korea to a double-digit number as it failed again to do so in 2010, though only by 0.5 percentage point.

The company currently is the third-largest of five automakers in South Korea, where over 80 per cent of the market is controlled by top automaker Hyundai Motor Co and its affiliate Kia Motors Corp.


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