GM has no plans to produce the next-generation Aveo in South Korea

Article by Anita Panait, on June 11, 2013

General Motors Co.’s labor union in South Korea has threatened to launch a strike action in response to the carmaker’s disclosure that it will not build the next-generation Aveo small car at the country for the time being. Sergio Rocha, the head of GM Korea, told the union that the carmaker had decided to produce the new Aveo in China and the United States.

South Korea will have a chance to build the model two years after its launch, the union said in a statement. GM’s decision comes amid wage discussions between the carmaker and its South Korean workforce, giving rise to fears that the company will reduce its presence in the country.

The union described GM’s decision as a “shocking announcement." The union added that it would launch a strike if it fails to ink an agreement with GM management over wages and future production plans this month.

The Aveo being sold in China is currently exported from South Korea as complete knockdown kits for assembly. Executives at GM have remarked that rising wages and stiff labor relations have made it increasingly unappealing to build vehicles in South Korean.

The union claims that GM’s decision is in contrast to the carmaker’s earlier vow to build cars-- including its next-generation global mini, small and midsize cars -- in South Korea. A union official noted that it is unlikely that GM Korea will build the new Aveo two years after the launch, since by then the model will be older and call for less demand.

One of the key appeals of the new Chevrolet Aveo is its capability to offer a sporty driving experience, as brought by the car’s rigid body-frame-integral structure. This structure features an upper body and a frame engineered as a single unit, thereby making sure that the Aveo is provided with a more mass-efficient and stiffer structure. Likewise, Chevrolet employed advanced steels that have greater tensile strength for enhanced levels of passenger safety.

To allow the Aveo to offer a stable yet comfortable ride, it was made to ride on McPherson strut suspension on the front with coil springs and stabilizer bar as well as a torsion beam axle-mount compound link-type suspension on the rear. Ensuring splendid feedback is the car’s electronic stability control (ESC) and a column-mounted electric power steering system (EPS), a feature available of Aveo models powered by the 1.2 liter gasoline engine or 1.3 liter turbo-diesel mill. This system employs a wear compensator to ensure precise steering even though the Aveo gets older.

The Aveo's tight body-frame-integral structure also contributes to its desirable safety performance. In fact, the roof could bear up to 4.2 times the Aveo’s weight in case of an accident. Likewise, the new Aveo is provided with six airbags, which are triggered through a tuned set of sensors. The new Aveo also features a four-channel anti-lock braking system (ABS) with brake assist. Moreover, the cruise control with speed limiter function could be activated, which means that it would provide an audible warning should the Aveo reach its top speed.

On the other hand, Chevrolet designed the new Aveo to offer a relaxed driving experience. This was achieved by implementing a number of refined noise control measures. These measures have allowed for a damping performance that is between 10 percent and 40 percent better than the materials and techniques applied in the past.

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