SEOUL – GM Daewoo Auto and Technology Co. will launch a demonstration fleet of 10 Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric vehicles in South Korea in 2011, a company spokesman confirms to Ward’s.
On display at the Seoul motor show here this month, the production-version Volt will be launched in the U.S. beginning in November 2010 and demonstrated in Korea the following year.
Feedback from the Volt test fleet will enable GMDAT to determine whether to add the U.S.-built electric hybrid to its product lineup here.
“Operation of the extended-range electric Volt on local roads will create an important starting point for the commercialization of electric vehicles in Korea,” a GMDAT spokesman says.
The Volt and a production version of the soon-to-be launched Chevrolet Spark minicar are the focal point of GMDAT’s 21-car lineup at the show.
“The next-generation Matiz (Spark) and Volt represent nothing short of the future thatCorp. and GM Daewoo are pursuing,” GMDAT President and CEO Michael Grimaldi says.
“With their revolutionary design and technology, they have the potential to point the automotive industry in a new direction and help it overcome the difficulties it is now facing.
“We expect these products to contribute to the construction of a strong foundation for GM Daewoo’s long-term success in Korea and the global marketplace.”
Rick Labelle, GMDAT vice president-sales, marketing and aftersales, says the Spark presently is phasing into production at the Changwon plant.
“We’ll launch the (new Matiz) in late summer or early fall and begin exporting the Chevrolet Spark early in 2010,” he tells Ward’s. “We haven’t made our targets for this new vehicle public, but we’re very confident that we’ll have great success.
Labelle says GMDAT plans to continue to market the current-generation Matiz M-200 alongside the new Spark to provide the auto makers with a full range of minivehicles. The older Matiz is smaller in size than the Spark, and it will take time to get the Spark into all of the world’s markets where the Matiz now is sold.
“The Spark and Matiz nameplates will not be changed,” he says. “We have a tremendous amount of equity in those two names and don’t want to give it up.”