DETROIT – GM Daewoo Auto & Technology Co. will start selling a version of the Saturn Sky/Pontiac Solstice later this year, Michael Grimaldi, GMDAT president and CEO, confirms.

It will be called the GM Daewoo G2X, Grimaldi tells Ward’s in an interview here during the North American International Auto Show.

In terms of styling, it will resemble the Sky, he says. The sports car will be built at General Motors Corp.’s Wilmingon, DE, plant and exported to Korea.

It will not be high volume – sales will be in the 500-unit range – but the G2X will play an important role as a halo vehicle for the South Korean auto maker, he says.

THE G2X will help convey the message that GM Daewoo is more than small cars, Grimaldi says.

GMDAT plans to replace its current lineup over the next four years as well as add new products to the portfolio. “There is much upside for us,” Grimaldi says.

“We need new entries in the upper mid(size) and luxury segments,” he says of future car plans, including a replacement in the next couple years for the Australian-built Statesman large car.

The new vehicle, being developed with GM Holden Ltd., will come from GM’s new Global Rear-Wheel-Drive Architecture (Zeta).

There is a market in Korea for chauffeur-driven large cars, Grimaldi says.

Whether the car will be assembled there or imported will be part of GM’s global manufacturing strategy and has not yet been determined, he says.

“Depending on free-trade agreements, tariffs, import restrictions; we need to find a balance between KD (knocked-down) kits, us building (domestic assembly) or imports.”

apriddle@wardsauto.com