GM Korea celebrated the local launch of the Chevrolet Traverse in September, which is imported into the country from General Motors‘ Lansing Delta Assembly plant in Michigan.
Since then, the automaker has been overwhelmed with orders for the American-made three-row crossover, the automaker having already received more than 1,200 orders for the vehicle since its late September launch, according to local outlet Korea Times. GM Korea had initially expected to sell just 500-600 examples of the Traverse per month and as such, received just 2,000 vehicles to help meet the expected demand.
However, with orders tracking well above that and the UAW still on strike in the United States, customers could be left waiting for their vehicles for quite some time. One logistics official, who anonymously spoke to Korea Times this week, believes it will be at least another two months before some Korean buyers receive their Traverse.
“Even if GM Korea places orders now, it will likely take at least two months to get the cars, given the time for manufacturing vehicles with Korea-specific options, shipping them to Korea and pre-delivery inspections,” the person said. “A delay in the delivery of Traverses seems to be inevitable, and the question is how the company can minimize the delay.”
The automaker also launched the Chevrolet Colorado in the country earlier this year, which has experienced a good degree of success in the market so far as well. Built at GM’s plant in Wentzville, Missouri, Colorado production has been brought to a halt by the UAW strike, causing further problems for the automaker.
A spokesperson for GM Korea was confident the UAW strike would not have an impact on Traverse and Colorado deliveries. The UAW is close to reaching a deal with GM, according to media reports published today, and may return to work soon as the union votes to ratify the proposed contract.
“Though we cannot reveal the number of orders for the Traverse or the Colorado, it is true that customers are showing a favorable response to the two vehicles and the number of orders is bigger than our expectations,” a spokesperson for GM Korea told Korea Times. “We are talking with headquarters to prevent any setbacks in importing the vehicles, and don’t believe the strike in the U.S. will affect the volume heading to Korea.”
This week, GM Korea denied rumors the automaker would pull out of the country, saying it remains an important market for the company. GM has struggled to turn a profit in South Korea, accumulating net losses equivalent to $3.4 billion USD between 2014 and 2018, including 859 billion won, or just under $724 million USD, in 2018 alone. GM Korea had to be bailed out by GM and the Korean government in 2018, leading the automaker to establish a turnaround plan for the company. Part of that turnaround plan included bringing in more models from the U.S., such as the Traverse and Colorado, along with the Chevrolet Camaro.
Source: Korea Times