Having dispelled rumors associated with General Motors pulling out of the South Korean market, GM Korea CEO Kaher Kazem also illustrated just how important the business unit is to the global General Motors organization during the same press conference. The event was held at the GM Korea design center, on Kazem’s sixth day on the job after taking over on September 1st, with Kazem joined by Stuart Norris from GM’s design team.
Kazem and Norris revealed that GM Korea is currently working on several future GM vehicles for the automaker’s global vehicle portfolio as well as for the local Korean market. In addition, the duo described GM Korea as the automaker’s global center for small cars that has designed various successful Chevrolet models that have sold in various markets around the globe, including Europe, the United States, South America, and Australia.
Perhaps GM Korea’s biggest claim to fame is the Chevrolet Cruze.
Competing with all other GM engineering and designer centers around the world, GM Korea won the project for the first-generation model. Kazem described that the unit designed and engineered the model at the GM Bupyeong vehicle development facility from scratch, and tested it at its test track and vehicle testing and shakedown facilities in Incheon.
The model became Chevrolet’s most commercially-successful global vehicle, winning it many awards in terms of product, durability, and reliability.
Spark And Bolt
What’s more, GM Korea was responsible for the engineering and development of the Chevrolet Bolt EV. In fact, Norris was the lead designer on the battery electric vehicle, which was Chevy’s first mass-produced pure electric car.
The Chevrolet Spark and its electric variant, the Spark EV, were also the results of GM Korea. The vehicle is the best-selling car in its class in South Korea, the United States, and many other markets.
And That’s Not All
Outside of producing most of the Chevrolet lineup for the local market along with the Chevrolet Spark, Trax, and the Buick Encore for North America, GM Korea also assembles many completely knocked down (CKDs) kits for the Chevrolet Captiva to be shipped and re-assembled by Shanghai GM in China. It’s not clear how long arrangement will last, given that GM is in the process of replacing the Captiva with the new 2018 Chevrolet Equinox around the world.
The unit also produces various parts and components that feed GM factories along with parts distribution and logistics centers globally.
More Information & Reporting
GM Korea facilities info: