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(LEAD) GM introduces new name, brand for S. Korean unit

All Headlines 11:19 January 20, 2011

(ATTN: UPDATES with remarks from GM Korea president, more details from 3rd para)

SEOUL, Jan. 20 (Yonhap) -- U.S.-based global automaker General Motors Co. (GM) on Thursday introduced a new name for its South Korean unit and brought the internationally renowned brand Chevrolet to boost the company's sales here.

The South Korean unit, GM Daewoo Auto & Technology, has been renamed GM Korea Co. "The company changes its name to GM Korea Co. to reflect its heightened status in global operations of GM," it said.

The name change will be effective before the end of March, according to Mike Arcamone, president and CEO of GM Korea, who said the move was an "inevitable evolution" as the former name, Daewoo, was too domestic.

"(The change) of the company name is an evolution from a company that does export sales and also domestic sales. We are a global company that works in Korea,' Arcamone told a press conference. "This is a revolutionary pivot for us and an imperative decision."

The name Daewoo comes from a now defunct domestic automaker acquired by GM in 2002.

GM Korea currently exports vehicles to some 150 different countries with one out of every four Chevrolets sold globally produced in South Korea, according to Arcamone.

The company is also renaming its vehicles, with the exception of only three commercial vehicles, to Chevrolet to increase its domestic sales.

"Through a series of detailed studies, we came to a conclusion that Chevrolet enhances our brand power," Arcamone said, adding nearly 40 percent of his company's customers were already paying out of their own pockets to have their GM Daewoo vehicles transformed to Chevrolet cars.

"In short, this is a good change. It is in the best interest of customers, our company, its employees, shareholders, dealers, suppliers and indeed the people of Korea," he said.

With an exception of only three vehicles, all new GM vehicles, as well as refreshments of existing vehicles, sold in Korea will be branded Chevrolet.

GM also has a separate distributor here, GM Korea Co., Ltd., for its Cadillac brand. The company will be allowed to maintain its name, according to Arcamone.


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