GM Daewoo Auto & Technology, the Korean unit of U.S. carmaker General Motors Co., on Wednesday revealed its new small passenger car, the Chevrolet Aveo, in Korea.
“The all-new Chevrolet Aveo is a fun to drive car with a confident attitude and a big heart,” said Mike Arcamone, president GM Daewoo.
“Its bold exterior styling exudes attitude while its big heart is readily apparent with the most spacious interior in the segment.”
The Aveo is the second of eight Chevrolet vehicles to be launched in Korea within the first nine months of the year under what Arcamone has called an “unprecedentedly aggressive” vehicle launch program.
The company began receiving pre-orders Monday for its first Chevrolet car to be introduced in the country, the Orlando, following its debut in a media launch program last week.
The all-new Chevrolet Aveo is unveiled in Seoul on Wednesday. (Yonhap News)
The all-new Aveo will be available in two body types ― a sporty five-door hatchback set to reach Korean customers next month and a stylish four-door sedan to be launched in May, GM Daewoo said.
“The Aveo was developed to take on the best that the competition has to offer in terms of styling, ride and handling, powertrain performance and safety,” the company said in a statement released ahead of the media launch program for the Aveo in Seoul.
With a 1.6-liter Ecotec engine that produces a maximum horsepower of 114 at 6,000 rpms, the vehicle has a high fuel efficiency of 17.3 kilometers per liter for manual transmission and 14.8 km/l for automatic transmission.
Also, a six-speed automatic transmission will be available in the new Aveo, making it the first small Chevrolet vehicle with an advanced six-speed transmission that also features automatic neutral shifting, a system that automatically commands the transmission to remain in a lower gear if the vehicle is decelerating or coasting on a downgrade.
“With an all-new six-speed automatic transmission, the Aveo offers vehicle dynamics that provide agility and fun-to-drive feel,” Arcamone said.
GM Daewoo did not compromise on the safety of the vehicle, either, it said.
More than 65 percent of the Aveo’s structure is constructed from high-strength steel, with its multi-crash load patch structure on both sides and rear of the vehicle expected to play “a key role in securing five-start new car assessment program ratings around the world.”
The vehicle also comes with six air bags and an emergency stop signal that will help “secure maximum safety,” the head of GM Daewoo said.
The interior combines GM’s traditional and new progressive designs as its motorcycle-inspired interior highlights Chevrolet’s traditional dual cockpit theme with its new wide-track and long-wheelbase designs outside giving the vehicle ample space inside, making the vehicle a “small giant,” Arcamone said.
“The all-new Chevrolet Aveo is the result of GM’s extensive global small car development program based in Korea. It was designed and engineered in Korea for Korea and for the world,” he said. “The Aveo will be a major force enabling Chevrolet to grow further and faster in both the domestic and global markets.”
The vehicle has a price range of 11.3 million won to 14 million won ($10,080 to $12,480) for four different trims with manual transmissions. All four models are also available with automatic transmissions for an additional 1.5 million won.
Arcamone said the Aveo will help not only increase his company’s sales, but also create an entirely different segment and demand in the domestic market.
“This is not a traditional hatch. This hatch will do well in the domestic market and it will surprise you,” he told reporters, also urging them to “look at the vehicle with a different set of eyes.”
GM Daewoo’s aggressive plan to launch eight new vehicles here within the year comes as the company has been struggling to increase its market share to a double-digit number.
“We are trying to get customers to look at the Chevrolet brand for what it promises, what it will give in terms of experience,”
Arcamone said, adding the new vehicles will help increase his company’s sales, as well as its market share in the domestic market.
Domestic sales by GM Daewoo rose 9.5 percent on-year in 2010 to 125,730 vehicles, but its market share only slightly increased to about 9 percent, though sales by its larger competitors ― Korea’s top automaker Hyundai Motor Co. and its affiliate Kia Motors Corp. ― dropped 6.1 percent and 2.8 percent, respectively.
Combined sales by all five automakers in Korea increased 5.2 percent last year.