DETROIT -- General Motors and its affiliate, Suzuki Motor Corp., expect to sell as many as 200,000 Korean-made imports annually in North America beginning in 2004.
The cars will be made by GM Daewoo Auto & Technology Co., the partnership that bought most of the assets of the bankrupt Daewoo Motor Co. last year.
In the United States, the subcompact Chevrolet Aveo, a new nameplate, will target such competitors as the Hyundai Accent, Kia Rio and Toyota Echo. General Motors had been fighting those vehicles with deeply discounted Chevrolet Cavaliers, said John Smith, group vice president for vehicle sales, service and marketing.
Model year: 2004
Manufacturer: General Motors (Chevrolet)
Wheelbase: 97.7 inches
Length: four-door: 166.8 inches; five-door: 152.8 inches
Width: 65.8 inches
Height: 58.9 inches
Engine: 1.6L DOHC inline 4-cylinder
Estimated torque: 107 lb.-ft. @ 3,600 rpm
Horsepower: 105 hp @ 5,800 rpm
Due in U.S. showrooms in early 2004, the Aveo will cost between $10,000 and $15,000, he said.
GM affiliate Suzuki Motor Corp. will join the effort, importing three vehicles to North America from GM Daewoo.
GM will sell three GM Daewoo nameplates in Canada and an unspecified lineup in Mexico for a target of 120,000 to 150,000 North American sales. Suzuki projects an additional 50,000 annual North American sales.
The companies revealed their plans today at the Chicago and Toronto auto shows. GM owns 42 percent of GM Daewoo. Suzuki owns 14.9 percent of the partnership.
The Aveo, sold in Europe as the Daewoo Kalos, will be a front-wheel-drive vehicle with a 1.6-liter inline 4-cylinder engine and a 97.7-inch wheelbase.
Though Korean competitors Hyundai and Kia have used 10-year, 100,000-mile warranties to allay fears about poor quality, Smith said the Aveo probably will carry GM's standard three-year, 36,000-mile warranty.
"I wouldn't hold out hope that we'll do anything different," he said.
Warranty and pricing have not been set, Smith said. The Aveo is expected to be in showrooms early in 2004.
GM Canada will also sell the Aveo. In addition, it will sell the Optra, a compact based on the Daewoo Lacetti, and the Epica, a mid-sized vehicle based on the Daewoo Magnos.
Suzuki will sell the Forenza compact, based on the Lacetti, and Verona mid-sized vehicle, based on the Magnos, in the United States. In Canada, Suzuki will sell the subcompact Swift, based on the Kalos, and Verona.