Daewoo's existence may seem perilous in Korea, but its United States unit, Daewoo Motor America, is confident.
'We are making a profit on our operations (in America),' said Daewoo Motor America President D.J. Lee. 'Our sales were strong through September, then in October they went down because Ford withdrew from negotiations (with the parent company). And November was down because of the announcement that we are in receivership. But we will show gains in 2001 because we will emphasize out price advantage.'
With the U.S. economy slowing down, Daewoo expects to change its sales mix more heavily toward the budget-minded subcompact Lanos and compact Nubira sedans and away from its mid-sized Leganza sedan. Lee predicts the automaker will sell 130,000 cars in the United States this year, up from about 70,000 in 2000. Most of the gain will come from expanding its network of dealers. The company now has 550 dealers, up from 200 a year ago.
But Daewoo of America still has its eccentricities. Lee wants to sponsor a contest among college students to create advertising slogans for the automaker.