GM Daewoo President and CEO Mike Arcamone, third from left, poses for photos with other GM Daewoo executives after a press conference held at The Shilla Hotel, central Seoul, Thursday. / Korea Times photo by Cho Young-ho
By Kim Da-ye
People will not be able to see the silver-colored Daewoo badge in brand-new vehicles down the road as GM Daewoo Auto & Technology is set to replace it with the bowtie-shaped Chevrolet emblem in months to come.
Along the same line, GM Daewoo Auto & Technology announced Thursday that it will drop Daewoo from its corporate title sometime over the first quarter for the fresh name of GM Korea Company.
“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,” Mike Arcamone, President and CEO of GM Daewoo, said in a statement.
“We cannot afford to sit still, and instead, choose to make a bold move with the launch of Chevrolet in Korea.”
More than 4.25 million Chevrolets were sold worldwide last year, and one out of every four Chevy vehicles is produced in Korea, GM Daewoo said.
The Seoul-based automaker said that it will begin its “most aggressive vehicle launch plan in its history,” coming up with eight new models under the Chevrolet brand in 2011.
Six out of the eight will be produced in Korea, Arcamone said. The portfolio includes the Chevrolet Camaro, the Chevrolet Orlando, the Chevrolet Aveo as well as a new SUV and a new premium midsize sedan.
GM Daewoo saw its sales and exports jump 20 percent and 35 percent in 2010 from a year ago. With the eight products in the pipeline, Vice President of Vehicle Sales, Service and Marketing Ankush Aurora is striving to attain further growth this year to jack up its market share from today’s 9.5 percent to double digits.
The management said at the press conference held at the Shilla Hotel, central Seoul, on the same day that replacements of company names and badges will help the carmaker achieve its goals.
Nearly 90 percent of the employees agreed to turn to Chevrolet while 80 percent of the GM Daewoo consumers preferred the iconic brand. In fact, many Lacetti Premier owners have switched the vehicle’s grill and badge for those of the Chevrolet Cruze.
Daewoo Motor was founded when the now-defunct Daewoo Group purchased Saehan Motor in 1978 and created the Daewoo Motor name in 1983. It became one of the largest automakers globally, but the financial crisis forced Daewoo Group to spin off its automotive unit in 2001 to sell it to the U.S. auto giant General Motors.