AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Dude, what's an Oldsmobile?
Everybody loves talking about millennials but nobody does anything about them. Roughly speaking this demographic encompasses young – and not-so-young – folks born in the early 1980s to about 2000. With birth years spanning two decades this is a huge group of very diverse people.
Chevrolet‘s European product line is mostly comprised of re-hashed Korean products that started out life as Daewoo products. But with the introduction of the 2013 Malibu, Chevrolet is hoping to change things a little by offering what it sees as a “premium” product for its European flagship.
The European market Malibu 164 hp 2.0-liter gasoline or a 169 hp 2.4-liter diesel four-cylinder, more in line with European offerings that favor small engines for both tax and fuel efficiency reasons. On the other hand, the Malibu is a physically large vehicle compared to competitive sedans, and consumer reaction to such a vehicle is unpredictable.
[Source: Automotive News]
GM Daewoo has changed its name to GM Korea and its brand of choice to Chevrolet last March. Since the name change, customers want to replace the old GM Daewoo emblem with the Chevrolet golden bow-tie.
Since March, 28,800 GM Daewoo owners have opted for the Chevy badge. It costs GM Daewoo owners somewhere between $139-$278 for the replacement. Since the change from GM Daewoo to GM Korea, the market share has also been affected. GM Korea stood at 6.7 percent in February and has climbed to 8.5 percent in March and 9.6 percent in April-May since adopting the Chevrolet brand.
Daewoo was once a beloved brand in Korea, and motorists are fiercely nationalistic, preferring their own domestic brands over foreign automakers. The switch to Chevrolet suggests a changing tide in the Korea marketplace, since customers are willing to abandon the Daewoo brand in favor of an American nameplate.
Daewoo, one of South Korea’s most famous nameplates, is being retired by parent company General Motors, in favor of Chevrolet. GM is hoping to make Chevrolet a global brand, and the move fits in with their overall strategy.
Daewoo has a deservedly poor reputation in the United States for making and selling cars that were less than stellar, but the firm has made enormous strides, becoming an invaluable engineering arm for GM’s small car division. But despite their laudable work behind the scenes (such as playing a huge role in developing the Cruze, Spark and Sonic small cars), the new company, known as GM Korea Co., will be undergoing a radical transformation this year.
The biggest marker of change will be the launch of the Camaro in Q1 of 2011, along with a refresh of 8 other vehicles. “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,” spokesman Park Haeho said.
Daewoo only has 9 percent market share in South Korea, compared to Hyundai’s 47 percent and Kia’s 33 percent. GM is hoping to increase it to 10 percent, despite Daewoo being a Korean nameplate in a market where domestic cars are heavily favored.
[Source: Automotive News]
Hyundai was able to achieve a 45 percent market share in South Korea in 2010, falling well below its target of 52 percent. Luckily, the failure to meet the target thanks to phenomenal growth from the Kia brand, owned by Hyundai and Kia’s new Optima and Sportage.
For 2011, Hyundai is targeting a more modest 47 percent with their new Grandeur sedan and the Veloster sports coupe. Hyundai’s main competitors, Daewoo and Renault-Samsung, lag behind Kia and Hyundai significantly. South Korea still remains Hyundai’s largest market despite phenomenal growth in the United States.
General Motors is harnessing the small car expertise of their Daewoo division to develop two new small cars, an upscale hatchback to be branded as a Vauxhall or Opel products, and a smaller, less expensive version likely to be sold as a Chevrolet.
The new cars are expected to slot in below the diminutive Corsa, a car considered too small for North America. But the growing popularity of cars like the Fiat 500 has provided some motivation for GM to develop their small car range, especially premium products that can compete with the 500, as well as upcoming entries from other European automakers.
In addition to the small car programs, GM is also looking to make Daewoo a hub for electric vehicle technology, including local production of the Chevrolet Volt.
[Source: Inside Line]
Chevrolet‘s next Aveo will see more bodystyles beyond the traditional hatchback, with a crossover and a sedan among them.
A sedan model will be essential for the U.S. market, where hatchbacks are slowly gaining acceptance, but have been a traditionally tough sell. The Aveo sedan will likely debut at the Detroit Auto Show in January, but details of the car still haven’t been fully fleshed out.
The crossover will likely be built on a stretched Aveo platform with available all wheel drive, and a premium interior with certain components taken from upmarket Opel models like the Insignia. GM Daewoo bosses, who were responsible for developing the Aveo, were quick to stress that the Aveo would not infringe on Opel or Vauxhall cars, which will retain their premium brand and get their own versions of the Aveo crossover.
In one of the most bizarre stories we’ve ever seen at Autoguide, GM’s Chevrolet division revealed during a financial briefing that their share of the passenger car market is 98.6 percent in the former Soviet Republic of Uzbekistan.
You might recall that ex-Soviet strongmen were often famous for getting consistently re-elected with 99.9% of the population voting for them, but how does a car company (an American one at that) gain such a foothold in a country steeped in dire poverty and ethnic violence?
According to InsideLine, GM owns a 25 percent stake in the local auto factory, a partnership between Daewood and Uzbek automaker UzAvutoSanoat. Since GM owns Daewoo, the plant, which is capable of cranking out 250,000 cars per year, is producing the Matiz, Lacetti and Captiva (pictured) for the domestic market and export to other countries. We’re not sure how many vehicles can be sold in a country where roughly half the population lives on less than $1.25 a day, but we do know that owning a Captiva must be equivalent to rolling around in an Escalade.
[Source: Inside Line]
Due to the overall turmoil at General Motors these days a lot of projects have been put on hold. Included in that list is the replacement for the current Aveo. A new Aveo, code named the T300, was due out in April of 2010, but now that product has been delayed until January of 2011.
The Aveo is built by GM Daewoo Auto and Technology, the Korean arm of General Motors, which was formed when GM bought the Daewoo automaker back in 2002.
GM Daewoo has already used up $2 billion in credit lines and is looking to secure a loan from the state-owned Korea Development Bank. It has suffered considerably during the worldwide recession with sales down 44.5 percent. That might not seem like much from a little-known and little-though-of offshoot of General Motors, but GM Daewoo accounts for 25 percent of GM’s total production.
The Aveo-replacement’s delay is particularly odd when you’d expect that GM, under the strict observance of the Obama Administration, would be focused on bringing small, fuel-efficient cars to market. (That certainly seems to be the case so far). And with the Aveo already long-in-the-tooth, sales of the model should continue to decline annually – making the need for a new Aveo all that more important.
According to a Reuters report, Japanese and Korean automakers (Hyundai and Kia in particular) are expected to gain market share from GM Daewoo in the small-car segment .