General Motors Co. is planning to launch the new Chevrolet Spark minicar in 2015 but will postpone the rollout its revamped Aveo subcompact from that year, according to South Korean labor union spokesman. Union spokesman Choi Jong-hak remarked that GM Korea has advised them that it will produce the next Spark and Aveo cars in South Korea, dismissing local industry worries that the American carmaker may shift some output of the models out of the Asian country.
Choi said GM Korea's management told union negotiators of its plans during annual wage talks that ended last week. GM Korea builds and exports the Spark and Aveo -- also known as Matiz and Sonic respectively -- to the United States, Europe and other countries. GM Korea also produces knock-down kits for assembly in Uzbekistan and other countries. GM Korea’s Chngwon site is building the Spark while its Bupyeong headquarters is producing the Aveo.
According to GM Korea, it sold 215,177 Spark at in its home turf and abroad in 2012. The unit added that exports accounted for nearly 70 percent of the Spark sales. The Spark accounted for 20,320 units out of Chevrolet's 74,384 sales in Europe in the first half of 2013, according to JATO Dynamics market researchers, making it the brand best-selling model in the region.
GM sold 18,872 Cruzes and 14,885 Aveos in Europe in the period. Chevrolet saw its market share in Europe shrink from 1.5 percent to 1.2 percent in the first half of 2013. There are growing concerns that GM might reduce its presence in South Korea, following announcements that the next Cruze would not be built in the country.