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Auto blogThu, 29 Apr 2010 17:32:00 EST
Chevrolet Camaro goes to South Korea - Click above for high-res image
General Motors decided several years ago to begin heavily promoting Chevrolet as its global mainstream brand even in markets where its existing brands like Opel and Daewoo were a dominant force. Today, at the Busan Motor Show in South Korea, GM Daewoo president Mike Arcamone announced that the Camaro would lead the way in GM's efforts to market Chevrolet in South Korea.
For now at least Chevrolet and Daewoo-branded vehicles will coexist in the Korean market. However, while we were in China last week GM officials told us that the Daewoo brand, which has been somewhat tainted by past quality issues, would eventually be phased out in favor of Chevrolet. When the new Aveo launches next year it will likely be badged as a Chevrolet even though GM Daewoo is in charge of engineering the car.
GM Daewoo has four shareholders: GM, Korea Development Bank, Suzuki Motor Corporation, and Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation. When GM Daewoo put out a rights issue, only one of the four took the bite: GM, which made it rain to the tune of $412 million and raised its stake from 50.9% to 70.1%.
Neither GM's move nor the non-interest of at least two other parties is surprising. SAIC is still gun shy about certain investments after the Ssangyong debacle, while Suzuki is more concerned with being courted by VW and the Kizashi's fate in the U.S. right now. It is GM that has every reason to strengthen its ties in Asia; after all, The General sold more cars in China last month than it did at home -- and with GM Daewoo.
Daewoo engineers small cars for GM, like Chevrolet's crucial acid test known as the Cruze, and last year, all told, GM Daewoo sold 1.9 million units. The financial infusion will be used for debts and to help the company's liquidity position.
If you are a big fan of automotive oddities, this may come as a little treat. If you are a Shelby or Mustang diehard, prepare to have your sensibilities violated.
The master fabricators at BigDaddyCustoms are the minds behind what you see above. At first, it appears to be a slightly misshapen custom Mustang, modeled after "Eleanor" from Gone In 60 Seconds, but upon further examination, something appears to be amiss. In fact, the custom shop, based in India, has created an Eleanor replica grafted upon a lowly Chevrolet Optra. While it may take a second for the Optra to ring a bell, you should recognize its badge-engineered sibling, the Daewoo Lacetti, used on Top Gear.
We don't know what star would opt for the Reasonably Priced Car in Shelby's clothing, but it's clearly someone more concerned with the aesthetic than the performance credentials of this automotive mash-up.