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Chevrolet expanding into South Korea

Thu, 29 Apr 2010

Chevrolet, the most famous and best-selling General Motors brand, will expand into South Korea in 2011, the automaker said on Wednesday.

Enthusiasts in South Korea are in for a treat: At the Busan International Motor Show where the announcement was made, Chevy showed a Camaro, which will be one of the products offered.

Last year, Chevy accounted for 44 percent of GM's global sales and saw a sales increase of 21 percent over the previous year. It's also seeing an influx of global products, such as the Cruze sedan and the Spark small car.

Chevrolet may be the most singular American brand--baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and all. But it's also seeing an increased global presence. Last year, 3.3 million vehicles wearing the bow tie badge were sold in 130 markets around the world.

South Koreans are also conscious of the 99-year-old Chevy brand and its iconic logo. Research finds that half of South Koreans are aware of the brand, and more than 80 percent are familiar with the bow tie.

“This is indicative of the positive brand image that already exists among consumers in Korea toward Chevrolet,” GM Daewoo CEO Mike Arcamone said in a statement. “We see tremendous upside with its introduction.”

Chevrolet traces its roots to 1911 and is named after race-car driver Louis Chevrolet. There are different stories as to how the logo came to grace the sheetmetal of Chevys, but one version has it that GM founder Billy Durant saw it in a French hotel room and adapted it to represent his cars.

By Greg Migliore