(Corrects to delete year for Aveo delay in para 1)
SEOUL, July 30 General Motors Co plans to
launch its next-generation Chevrolet Spark mini car in the first
half of 2015, but will delay the launch of its revamped Aveo
small car, a South Korean labour union spokesman said on
GM has also advised the union it will produce the two new
models in Korea, spokesman Choi Jong-hak said, dispelling local
industry concerns that the U.S. automaker may shift some
production out of the country.
GM Korea's management briefed union negotiators on its plans
during annual wage talks that ended last week, Choi said.
"The management said it originally planned to launch the
redesigned Aveo in late 2015, but the plan was pushed back. It
also said it will produce the new Spark in the first half of
2015," Choi said, without elaborating.
A GM Korea spokesman declined to comment, saying the company
did not disclose its future product plans.
South Korea manufactures and exports the Spark and Aveo
(Sonic) cars to the United States, Europe and other countries,
and makes knock-down kits for assembly in Uzbekistan and others,
the spokesman said.
The Spark, which was introduced in 2009, has been
manufactured at GM Korea's plant in the southeastern city of
Changwon, and the Aveo, which was rolled out in 2011, is made at
its headquarters in Bupyeong, outside of Seoul.
GM Korea said it sold 215,177 Spark cars at home and abroad
last year, and exports accounted for nearly 70 percent of the
GM Korea, which was created after the automaker bought
failed South Korean automaker Daewoo Motor in 2002, has been
GM's major Asian manufacturing base and engineering-design hub
for its mini and small cars. But concerns are growing that GM
may reduce its presence in Korea, after it said it would not
produce the next-generation Cruze compact in the
Meanwhile, GM has postponed the launch of the
next-generation Chevrolet Cruze by a year due to engineering
changes and a desire to squeeze more sales from the small car
before it is redesigned, people familiar with the U.S.
automaker's plans said.
The next version of the Cruze, which had originally been
scheduled to debut in late 2014, will now begin production in
December 2015, said the sources, most of whom asked not to be
identified in discussing GM's plans.
(Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin; Editing by Jeremy Laurence)