During the recent celebration of its first 20 years of operations in South Korea, General Motors revealed that it will build two next-generation global models in the Asian country.
Executives in charge of the automaker’s business in South Korea explained the progress of the recent massive investment in the GM Changwon and GM Bupyeong plants, where the company says it will build “two next-generation global models.” Both complexes received a joint investment of 1,100,000,000,000 KRW – about $766 million USD at the current exchange rate – to manufacture new crossovers starting next year.
“I am grateful for the dedication and hard work that all of our GM employees have made to manufacture and supply competitive GM global models to the world,” said Senior Vice President and President of GM International, Shilpan Amin, in a statement. “The success of the next-generation global new car is of paramount importance for the sustainable growth of GM’s operations in Korea,” he added.
This is the third time this year that GM has confirmed it will build “next-generation global models” in South Korea, but without disclosing any specific information about those vehicles. It was first pronounced in March when the automaker announced the transformation of the Changwon plant, and then in June by revealing that it will also build next-generation global products at the Bupyeong plant – alongside the current Chevy Trailblazer and Buick Encore GX.
In fact, it is unclear whether these are really two separate models or a single project involving more than one nameplate, as GM Korea often refers to sister vehicles as one model line. For example, it talks about the Trailblazer and Encore GX as a single model using the term ‘Trailblazer’ and did the same with the Chevy Trax and Buick Encore, which it referred to simply as ‘Trax’.
Although not yet officially announced, one of the next “two global models” that GM will build in South Korea is the all-new 2024 Chevy Trax – which would be the first to be produced at the revamped Changwon complex. Another model could be the Buick Envista, which is closely related to the new Trax/Seeker and under consideration for North America, duplicating the Trax/Encore and Trailblazer/Encore GX formula.
Additionally, should GM Korea also treat the new Trax/Envista as one model, there is the possibility that the mysterious Chevy compact crossover recently spotted in Detroit is another of the models the company plans to build in South Korea.