Fleet News

Daewoo forges ahead with record sales and new engine deal

DAEWOO'S astonishing growth on the world automotive stage has been boosted further by record sales figures in its home market and a new engine deal with Renault. All three of the new models set for UK launch early next year - the Lanos, the Nubira and the Leganza - have now been introduced in Korea. Their arrival has shifted the sales balance in the home market, where Daewoo's share has leapt from 23% in 1996 to 35% so far in 1997.

Despite the success, Daewoo cannot confirm launch dates, prices or specification for the UK market. It has been suggested that the Koreans want to price the new cars directly against mainstream competition, despite Daewoo's relative inexperience and lack of image in the British market - and some staff at the UK distributor want to ensure they still undercut Vauxhall and Ford.

The Korean company's chairman Kim Woo-Choong signed an agreement in Paris on May 22 to buy 200,000 diesel engines from Renault until 2002 - providing its vehicles with diesel power for the first time. In addition, Daewoo will produce 50,000 Renault petrol engines of 1.2 to 2.0-litre capacity, using the basic Renault specifications but developing dedicated technology such as intake and exhaust systems for its own vehicles.

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