BREMEN, Germany -- GM Daewoo hopes that offering diesel engines will more than double its market share in Germany.
Last year, GM Daewoo had a 0.4 percent market share in Germany, Europe's No. 1 new-car market. It aims to increase its share to 0.5 percent in 2004 and 0.6 percent in 2005.
When the diesel engines hit the market in 2005 or 2006, a 1 percent market share -- about 32,000 units -- is realistic, said GM Daewoo Germany CEO Günther Sommerlad.
The Korean automaker will introduce two four-cylinder diesel engines, a 1.3-liter and a 1.9-liter, by 2005. A six-cylinder diesel will follow in 2006.
Diesel engines are popular among European buyers -- 43.7 percent of new-car sales in western Europe last year were diesels -- and they are crucial to successfully compete in the huge fleet market.
Special editions on the way
The engines will appear in the current or next generations of the Kalos, Lacetti, Nubira, Rezzo/Tacuma and Evanda, as well as an upcoming sport-utility model.
GM Daewoo also plans to strengthen its position in Germany, Austria and Switzerland by increasing fleet sales and introducing special-edition cars.
One is a 131hp, supercharged gasoline version of the Kalos minicar that will have a top speed of 193kph. Aftermarket tuner Delta Motors of Eich, Switzerland, developed the car.
Sommerlad is also responsible for the Austrian and Swiss markets. GM Daewoo has a market share of 0.45 percent in Austria and 1 percent in Switzerland.
GM Daewoo's European market share in western and central Europe increased last year to 0.75 percent from 0.6 percent. Sales in those regions jumped 21.6 percent to 133,000 units from 109,000 cars in 2002. GM Daewoo's goal is to sell a combined 200,000 units in western and central Europe by 2005, giving it about a 1.3 percent market share.
Sommerlad said that GM Daewoo will remain a value-oriented brand. Fellow Korean automaker Kia has said it will abandon cheap car segments to help parent Hyundai try to become a top 5 global player by 2010.
GM Daewoo will show the Nubira station wagon at the Geneva auto show in March. It will introduce a two-door Kalos and the next generation of the four-door Matiz in early 2005.
GM Daewoo will introduce a compact sport-utility about the size of a Suzuki Vitara in early 2005. The SUV will offer a diesel engine version. The company also will introduce an SUV that will be about the same size as the Kia Sorento in 2006. Sources say that car will be based on the Saturn Vue platform.