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GM Daewoo launches new mini-car


Seoul : GM Daewoo hopes to make inroads into the mini-car market with its first such vehicle now on sale in South Korea and due to come to Europe at the start of 2010. It will be assembled at GM plants in India, Vietnam, Columbia and Uzbekistan.

The Matiz Creative is the result of a 295-billion-won ($239 million) 27-month research and development programme based on mini-vehicle designs from Daewoo’s US parent company General Motors (GM). The company believes the vehicle will become an industry benchmark in the mini-car world due to its design, performance and safety.

“GM Daewoo has a very bright future. The Matiz Creative showcases that GMDAT is a major manufacturing base for GM Daewoo to produce mini-cars,” said Michael Grimaldi, GM Daewoo chief executive.

GM Daewoo Auto and Technology (GMDAT) is South Korea’s third-largest carmaker and was formed in 2002 when GM took over the bankrupt Daewoo Motor Co.

South Korea is a test market for the Matiz Creative with its launch there Sep 2. The car will be sold in Europe from early 2010 and will eventually be on sale in about 150 countries.

The car can accommodate five adults and is powered by a new 1,000-cc DOHC engine which has earned Korea’s Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle rating. Average fuel economy is put at 6 litres per 100 kilometres.

The company hopes the car will fit an urban lifestyle. “We wanted to make it stand apart from a typical mini-car. We positioned it as a mini-car offered at the price of mini-car but still offering a style to suit urban lifestyles and engine power,” said Taewan Kim, vice president of GM Daewoo Design.