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GM Daewoo unveils first Chevy model

GM Daewoo Auto and Technology Co. unveiled the Orlando multipurpose vehicle Wednesday. The vehicle will go on sale here on March 2.

Out of the eight new models the automaker plans to launch in the local market this year, the Orlando will be the first model produced by GM Daewoo to be sold under the Chevrolet brand in Korea.

In January, the company announced plans to change its name to GM Korea Co. and replace the Daewoo brand with the Chevrolet by the end of the first quarter.

Along with the name changes, the company will introduce eight new cars ― all of which will be sold under the U.S. brand.

At the launch event, held under then theme “Chevrolet is Korea,” the company emphasized the new brand’s connection to Korea and the newness of the Chevrolet Orlando.
Models showcase the Chevrolet Orlando unveiled on the local market in downtown Seoul on Wednesday. (Lee Sang-sub/The Korea Herald)
Models showcase the Chevrolet Orlando unveiled on the local market in downtown Seoul on Wednesday. (Lee Sang-sub/The Korea Herald)

“We are very excited about the first Chevrolet that was designed in Korea, engineered in Korea and manufactured in Korea. Chevrolet is Korea,” GM Daewoo president Mike Arcamone said at the event in Seoul.

Referring to the Orlando as an “Active Life Vehicle,” Arcamone also said that the vehicle represents a completely different concept to segments such as sport utility and multipurpose vehicles.

While the company does not provide sales target figures, GM Daewoo vice president for sales Ankush Arora said that the car will be shipped to 100 markets across the world, and that the plant in Gunsan, North Jeolla Province, where the Orlando will be produced, will be operated at full capacity to first meet domestic demand and then export requirements.

The plant, which also produces the compact car Chevrolet Cruze that shares the platform with the Orlando, has an annual production capacity of 300,000 units.

Arcamone added that plans to raise the plant’s capacity could also be considered if demand outpaces supply.

The seven-seat vehicle has three rows of seats, the rear two of which can be folded down in various configurations.

Ranging from 19.8 million won ($17,900) to 24.63 million won, the Orlando is pricier than its only domestic competition Kia Carens which ranges from 16.51 million won to 21.39 million won.

However, the Orlando is a step ahead in both power output and fuel economy.

The vehicle is fitted with a 2-liter turbo charger diesel engine with 163 brake horsepower and meets the Euro V emission standards.

With the six-speed automatic transmission, the vehicle manages 17.4 kilometers per liter of fuel. The fuel economy figure falls to 14 kilometers per liter with the six-speed automatic transmission. In comparison, the Kia Carens manages 10.6 kilometers per liter with four-speed automatic transmission and a 2-liter gasoline engine that puts out 151 brake horsepower.

By Choi He-suk (