BARCELONA - Daewoo sprang a European surprise by showing all its three new models in Europe for the first time.
The Leganza, Nubira and Lanos were together several weeks ago at the Seoul auto show. A year ago none had been seen.
Daewoo believes Spain will be a good launch market. Daewoo hopes to take 2 percent of the market here. Its overall European target is 1.5 percent market share.
Unveiling the cars, engineering director Ulrich Bez outlined Daewoo's sales philosophy: 'These are not cars that set new technical standards - but what motorist needs a car for everyday use which sets new technical standards?
'There is a nice word for that in English - overengineered. That is one thing our three new cars are not. They are cars which have everything a good car needs - and they are affordable.'
The Leganza is the newest of the three cars. It was launched in Seoul.
Italdesign helped style the car, which was engineered at Daewoo's technical centers in Worthing, UK, and Pupyong, Korea. It carries the distinctive Daewoo grille.
Daewoo will build 200,000 Leganzas a year in Korea, where it will compete with the Hyundai Sonata. It is 4671mm long, 1779mm wide and has a 2670mm wheelbase. In size, it is between Europe's upper-medium and full-size segments.
The Leganza is available with a choice of 1.8-liter or 2.0-liter engines, in both SOHC or DOHC versions.
The Leganza will be launched in Europe this September with the lower-medium Lanos and upper-medium Nubira. The current Nexia model will continue to be built in developing markets, such as Poland and Romania, until at least the end of the century.
Daewoo hopes to sell the Lanos and Nubira at around the same levels as the outgoing Nexia and Espero. The Lanos is expected to be the European bestseller, with around 65 percent of sales. The Nubira is expected to take 25 percent and the Leganza 10 percent of Daewoo's sales.
The Lanos is slightly smaller than the Nexia, and the Nubira is slightly smaller than the Espero.
There will be three-, four- and five-door Lanos models. The Nubira will come in three versions: a four-door sedan, a five-door hatchback and a wagon.
The Leganza 2.0-liter executive sedan will lead Daewoo's arrival in the US next year.
The Lanos, Nubira and Leganza have been developed at a combined cost of $1.3 billion.
The only carryover from the old Daewoos are the cars' engines: 1.3-liter and 1.6-liter gasoline units for the Lanos; 1.6-liter and 2.0-liter engines in the Nubira; and 2.0-liter SOHC and DOHC engines in the Leganza.
These will all be replaced before 2000 by engines being developed inhouse. The project is controlled by Daewoo's Munich technical center.
Within two years, Daewoo plans to add four more models to its range. They include a Renault Scenic-style mini-MPV based on the Nubira platform; a full-size MPV based on the Leganza platform; a supermini; and a luxury sedan derived from the Shiraz concept car shown at Geneva in March.
The sedan will be the first to feature Daewoo's new, inline, transverse-mounted, six-cylinder, 2.5-liter engine, which engineering director Bez promised would be 'as smooth as a BMW engine.'