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GM Korea gears up for new car launches

GM Korea is gearing up to launch new Chevrolet and Cadillac models in South Korea this year as it seeks to carve out a bigger slice of the local passenger vehicle market, industry sources said Friday.

The plan is in line with the company’s ramped-up efforts to target the domestic market with more new models following a relatively successful year in 2015.

“The most important objective for us is to grow in the domestic market first,” James Kim, the president of GM Korea, said in his New Year greetings recently posted on the company’s blog.

“We will introduce diverse new cars in a wide range of segments belonging to the two brands -- the Chevrolet and Cadillac,” he added.

The new models expected to hit the market this year include the Chevrolet Malibu, Volt plug-in electric vehicle and the Cadillac’s V-series, according to sources.

Equipped with a 1.5-liter gasoline engine that produces up to 160 horsepower, the new Malibu is said to appeal to customers with its sportier and more luxurious image compared to existing models.

The next-generation Volt is known for its extended range of driving. With fuel and a single battery charge, it can run a maximum of 676 kilometers.

GM Korea, the local unit of U.S. carmaker General Motors Co., also plans to launch the high-performance V-series by Cadillac this year. It will start selling the ATS-V and CTS-V in the first half of the year and the CT6 luxury large-size sedan in the second half of the year, sources said.

The carmaker earlier said that it will unveil more than seven new models this year with the aim to achieve a double-digit market share.

GM Korea sold a total of 158,404 units in South Korea last year, the largest ever since its entry to the market in 2002. Its market share stood at 8.6 percent. (Yonhap)