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GM Daewoo Motors
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GM Daewoo Motors

GM Daewoo Motors was first established as National Motor in 1937 in Bupyeong, South Korea. After changing its name to Saenara Motor in 1962, Saenara Motor was bought by Shinjin Industrial in 1965 , which changed its name to Shinjin Motor after establishing collaborations with Toyota.

After Toyota's withdrawal in 1972, Shinjin Motor started a joint venture with General Motors under the name General Motors Korea, but was renamed again in 1976 to Saehan Motor. After the Daewoo Group gained control in 1982 the name was changed to Daewoo Motors. In the early 1990s Daewoo Motors started to expand heavily throughout the world. Until 1996 all cars were based on models from General Motors. After the Asian financial crisis started in 1997, it took over the troubled jeep specialist SsangYong in 1998, but ran into financial trouble in 1999.

In 2001 General Motors bought most of Daewoo Motors and now holds a stake of 66.7%. The deal did not include 15 plants, especially Daewoo's oldest plant in Bupyeong which now operates under the name Daewoo Inchon Motor Company as a supplier to GM-Daewoo Motors.

Overseas engagements

Since the 1990s, Daewoo has owned ZAZ, an automobile manufacturer based in the Ukraine.

Daewoo set up a joint venture (August 1992) and a factory in Asaka city, Andizhan province, in Uzbekistan, leveraging the presence of a large local ethnic Korean minority.

Daewoo invested into Poland's FSO in 1995, forming a joint venture which later produced the Matiz which became popular in the European market.

Car Models

Beginning in late 1998, Daewoo Motor America sold three automobile models, the sub-compact Lanos, compact Nubira ("to go everywhere/anywhere" in Korean), and the midsize Leganza (Elegante and Forza "Italian for power"). 2002 was the last model year for Daewoo-badged vehicles in the US, following the bankruptcy and GM buyout of Daewoo Motor.

No Daewoo-built vehicles were offered in the US for the 2003 model year.

The 2004 Chevrolet Aveo, Suzuki Forenza and Suzuki Verona, all offered in the US market, are "badge engineered" Daewoos (those three models are sold in South Korea as the Daewoo Kalos, Lacetti and Magnus, respectively).

Starting in 2005, GM will brand all Daewoos in Western Europe as Chevrolets.

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