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GM Korea to Invest US$7.3 bln in Next 5 Years
�� �� GM Korea Co., the local unit of U.S. General Motors Co., said Friday it plans to invest about 8 trillion won (US$7.3 billion) in the next five years to boost its competitiveness amid the global economic downturn.

GM Korea also said it will double the size of the design center at its headquarters in Bupyeong, a city west of Seoul, by the end of this year as part of efforts to solidify its global design capabilities. The expansion would make it GM's third largest globally after facilities in the United States and Brazil.

"This investment of approximately 8 trillion won in the next five years in engineering and manufacturing capabilities will help it continue to develop globally competitive products," Tim Lee, GM's president of international operations, said in a statement.

GM Korea also said it will produce six next-generation GM global vehicles and powertrains, including GM's next-generation global mini, small and midsize cars, as well as GM's first global full battery electric vehicle. It did not give a specific time frame.

"Designing, building and selling the world's best vehicles is GM's vision," GM Korea President and CEO Sergio Rocha said in the statement.

The third-largest automotive company in South Korea said it will strengthen its Chevrolet and Cadillac dual-brand strategy and build a portfolio of competitive products while improving its sales network to strengthen its foothold in the domestic market.

The comments came two days after GM Korea unveiled the new Chevrolet Trax global small sport utility vehicle. Trax is set to go on sale in South Korea from Monday and it will also be available in more than 140 countries, including many European markets, by year's end.

In 2012, GM Korea sold a record 145,702 vehicles in South Korea, garnering a 9.5 percent market share behind Hyundai Motor Co., South Korea's top automaker, and its smaller affiliate Kia Motors Corp.

Hyundai and Kia, the flagship companies of Hyundai Motor Group, the world's fifth-largest automotive group, dominated the local car market with a combined share of 74.6 percent last year.

GM Korea operates five manufacturing facilities in South Korea as well as an assembly facility in Vietnam.

Source Text

Source: Yonhap News (Feb. 22, 2013)

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