INCHEON, South Korea -- In its home market of South Korea, Daewoo has a meager 9 percent market share. But on the world stage, GM Daewoo Auto & Technology Co. has emerged as a weighty player in the revival of parent General Motors Co.
With expansion overseas crucial to GM's recovery from bankruptcy, the unsung Korean subsidiary is rising to deliver. Some examples:
-- GM Daewoo-made cars now account for about 22 percent of GM's worldwide sales.
-- One of every four Chevrolets sold globally is manufactured by GM Daewoo.
-- GM expects sales of GM Daewoo-made vehicles to surge 64 percent in the next five years.
Indeed, GM is leaning on Daewoo as its center for global small-car design, development and engineering. And insiders and outsiders alike credit Daewoo for enabling GM to raise its game when it comes to small cars such as the new Chevrolet Cruze.
Meanwhile, the unit's design studio outside Seoul is leveraging U.S. consumers' newfound respect for Korean brands, from Hyundai to Samsung, to whip up fresh, funky looks with attitude.
Little wonder GM left Daewoo untouched when the bankrupt company cleaned house last year.