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GM Korea CEO Roberto Rempel introduces GMC Sierra Denali pickup trucking during its brand day event held at Paradise City Hotel in Incheon on June 22. Photo courtesy of GM Korea

US automaker tries to turn profit here

General Motors has chalked up deficits for the past eight years since 2014. Last year, its operating loss amounted to 376 billion won ($290 million) amid reduced sales.

The company strives to turn the tide by launching new models in the domestic market, introducing a new model of GMC during a brand day event on June 23.

Established in 1902, GMC is a brand specializing in premium pickups and sports utility vehicles.

GM has three global brands. Among them, it introduced Chevrolet and Cadillac brands in Korea. But it did not market the GMC brand here in a full-fledged manner.

The U.S. automaker introduced a total of 15 vehicles during the event. Among them, it noted that the GMC Sierra Denali would be launched in Korea as part of its multi-brand strategy.

“Today’s event is a place to directly show Chevrolet, Cadillac and GMC products that reflect GM’s innovative values,” GM Korea CEO Roberto Rempel said in the event held at Paradise City Hotel in Incheon.

“At the same time, it is a space for communication between Korean customers and GM’s brands that will lead GM’s all-electric vision. GM will reach an annual production capacity of half a million units locally with the Trailblazer and the next-generation global new CUV that will be produced in Korea from next year.”

He said that GM was committed to turning the spin toward growth, and it’s the company’s mission to turn a profit.

GM Korea Marketing Director Nho Jung-hwa said that the company would meet the changing needs of domestic motorists.

“We have been strategizing an SUV-centered product portfolio in line with consumer preferences that have accompanied the outdoor craze such as camping and car camping,” she said.

“Chevrolet will continue to bring in new models based on a two-track strategy that increases profitability by introducing GM’s globally proven portfolio to the domestic market along with the vehicles produced at its Bupyeong and Changwon plants.”

The Bupyeong plant is located in Incheon where GM Korea is headquartered. Changwon is situated in the southeastern part of the country.

Observers point out that GM Korea needs to expand its market share.

“What is really important for GM Korea is to increase its market share by introducing new models. Then, it would turn a profit,” Prof. Kim Pil-soo at Daelim University said.

“Hence, its strategy appears to be all right. But it remains to be seen whether it would be able to win the hearts and minds of customers in stiff competition with local players like Hyundai and Kia.”

The publisher studied Korean history in Seoul and management of business administration in the United Kingdom. He has 20-year experiences in the media business. Kim can be reached at voc200@gmail.com or 82-2-6956-6698.