GM Daewoo Auto & Technology Co. officials are denying a report by South Korean website Donga.com that the auto maker plans to move small-car assembly to China by 2010 and midsize-car production to India, as well.
The Internet publication, an arm of Donga Ilbo , a leading Korean newspaper, quotes a GMDAT marketing director as saying plans are to eventually move all production out of Korea and leave only the U.S. subsidiary’s research and development division in place.
The story was picked up on the Reuters Alert Net out of London, a wire service that goes out to news media the world over, highlighting news stories from various countries.
The article caused pandemonium at GMDAT’s media launch of diesel versions of its popular Lacetti sedan, hatchback and sporty wagon, which it hopes will be big sellers both in Korea and Europe. Some 80 reporters were in attendance when news of the report broke.
GMDAT officials insist the report has no validity, reminding that parentCorp. has designated GMDAT as its global center for the design and production of small cars.
“The media reports that GM Daewoo will not continue production of the Matiz and subsequent product at our Changwon plant in the future are simply not true,” GMDAT President and CEO Michael Grimaldi says in a statement to Ward’s.
“In addition, our plans are to continue vehicle production at Bupyeong and Gunsan of current and future small and midsize models,” he says.
“As previously announced, GM Daewoo has been appointed GM’s global mini- and small-car architectural-development base. These future vehicles will be manufactured in Korea and in other GM operations around the world.
“It is GM’s and GM Daewoo’s objective to grow our global sales and improve our financial performance with these new products.”
GMDAT has been growing since its founding in 2002. Total manufacturing production has increased from 400,000 units to 1.5 million vehicles and complete knocked-down kits in 2006.
“We are currently pursuing opportunities to increase our production output by 20% in 2007 to meet the strong global demand for GM Daewoo vehicles,” Grimaldi says.