General Motors announced yesterday that Chevrolet, the most famous and best-selling of its four brands, will be introduced in Korea next year. GM has been a player in Korea for a long time, especially since the American conglomerate took control of Daewoo in 2002. Daewoo, now GM Daewoo, had been affiliated with with General Motors for a long time, licensing the production of older GM models in decades past. This move to sell the Chevrolet brand in South Korea, however, isn’t meant to replace Daewoo models but to coexist with the native Korean company.
For a small country, South Korea has a gigantic population. More than 50,000,000 people live on a peninsula smaller than the state of Virginia. Though that sounds like a perfect recipe for traffic jams – and it is – the Korean automotive market remains hugely active. In March, for instance, the best-selling car was the Hyundai i45. Known here as the Hyundai Sonata, the i45 sold 14,575 copies. That’s only a few thousand fewer sales than Hyundai achieved with the Sonata in the United States last month. Clearly it would be beneficial for GM’s largest brand to play in a burgeoning market.
So, Chevrolet is westward bound to the Far East. Although it’s not exactly clear which models Chevrolet will attempt to sell in South Korea, one model that’s definitely on the way is the Camaro. The Chevrolet Camaro has shared a showstand with GM Daewoo, and GM is using the Camaro in its promotional materials for this move to Korea.
South Korea will mark Chevrolet’s 131st market when sales officially begin in 2011. For plenty more Numbers relating to Chevrolet’s global impact, keep reading after the jump.
80 – percentage of Koreans who are aware of Chevrolet’s bow-tie logo, according to GM’s market research
100 – birthday to be celebrated next year for Chevrolet; ten decades since the company was founded by Louis Chevrolet
44 – percentage of GM’s global sales attributed to the Chevrolet brand
3,300,000 – total worldwide Chevrolet sales in 2009
100 – percentage growth in worldwide Chevrolet sales from 2005 to 2009
133,165 – Chevrolet vehicles sold in the United States in March of 2010
11,344 – Chevrolet vehicles sold in Canada in March of 2010
9,434 – total GM Daewoo sales in South Korea in March of 2010
53,212 – total GM Daewoo sales outside of South Korea in March of 2010