INCHEON, Korea - GM Daewoo Auto & Technology Co. plans to hire 400 more workers soon as it begins production of its first SUV.
The workers will be added at the Bupyong assembly plant late this year and early next year, the company said.
The plant will produce a medium-sized SUV code-named S3X. GM Daewoo plans to launch the SUV in Korea in early 2006 and begin selling it in Europe with a Chevrolet badge midyear.
There are no plans to sell it in the US because GM has similar size vehicles there.
The name hasn't been announced, but it won't be S3X, a spokesman said. It will have gasoline and diesel powertrains. GM Daewoo unveiled the SUV at the Paris auto show in September 2004.
The Bupyong plant has two assembly lines that now make the Chevrolet Aveo and Suzuki Verona. The Aveo line runs two shifts. The Verona line has only one shift but will go to two shifts when it adds the SUV.
The plant is owned by Daewoo Incheon Motor Co., a survivor of the bankrupt Daewoo Motor Co. GM Daewoo is in the process of acquiring Daewoo Incheon Motor and the plant.
GM Daewoo and Daewoo Incheon Motor together employ 14,045 workers. The 400 new employees will be workers who were laid off by Daewoo Motor in February 2001, GM Daewoo said.
GM Daewoo was formed in 2002 to buy the operations of Daewoo Motor. GM Daewoo operates two other assembly plants in Korea - at Gunsan and Changwon.
It expects its 2005 production to surpass 1.1 million units, a gain of 22 percent from the 900,084 vehicles sold or shipped during 2004.
The company won't release a forecast for 2006, but it said that with the addition of the SUV it expects further growth.
GM Daewoo is owned 50.9 percent by General Motors, 11.2 percent by Suzuki, 9.9 percent by Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. and 28 percent by creditors.