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GM Korea aims to double production in next two years

By Kim Hye-ran & Kim Tae-gyu, UPI News Korea
GM Korea aims to double production in next two years
Former Major League Baseball player Choo Shin-soo poses in front of the Chevrolet Tahoe at a stadium in Incheon, South Korea. Photo courtesy of GM Korea

SEOUL, April 22 (UPI) -- General Motors Korea said it aims to double its production in the next two years.

The Incheon-based company, which rolled out around 237,000 vehicles last year, announced its plan Wednesday to manufacture 500,000 automobiles next year.

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Toward that end, GM Korea is scheduled to expand its factories in the country and agreed with the trade union to relocate more than 1,200 workers by the end of this year.

"Currently, GM Korea is producing the crossover model of the Chevrolet Trailblazer. We will also produce GM's new model, which is to be unveiled later this year," a GM spokesman told UPI News Korea.

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"At that point, we will achieve an annual production capacity of half a million units. That would pave the way for us to get back on track," he said.

Earlier this week, the company announced that it had picked former Major League Baseball player Choo Shin-soo to promote the launch of the Chevrolet Tahoe in South Korea.

GM Korea started delivering the sports utility vehicles to Korean customers this week.

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In the United States, Choo played for the Seattle Mariners, Cleveland Indians, Cincinnati Reds and Texas Rangers.

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"Despite assistance from its parent company and the Korean government, GM Korea has seen massive losses over the past few years. For example, its loss amounted to $300 million last year," Daelim University automotive Professor Kim Pil-soo said in a telephone interview.

"But the company has shown signs of rebounding. For example, its sales of the Chevrolet Trailblazer are quite good. If a new model sells well later this year, the company would be able to get back on track," he said.

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To bail out its struggling Korean unit, GM in the United States has provided $6.4 billion. The state-run Korea Development Bank also has provided $750 million to GM Korea since 2018.

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