Defunct since 1999, the Daewoo Group was once a major South Korean organization with twenty primary divisions. The most successful of these divisions was Daewoo Motors, the division, which manufactured automobiles. In 2001, the company sold most of its assets to General Motors and in 2011 it was replaced by GM Korea.
Daewoo Motors has a much more extensive history than Daewoo Group, the organization that most recently owned it before GM. The company was first established in 1937 in South Korea under the name National Motor. It went through several name changes over the years before it became known as Daewoo.
1982 was the year that the company became known as Daewoo Motors. It was in this year that the Daewoo group took charge of the company. All of Daewoo’s cars from the period between 1982 and 1996 were based upon models from General Motors.
Daewoo produced several popular models of cars during these years. Perhaps the most popular was the Royale Series. The series included the Daewoo Royale XQ, the Daewoo Royale Duke, the Daewoo Royale Prince, and the Daewoo Royale Salon Super. Another popular line of cars the company produced during this time was the Imperial series. This line contained the brand’s flagship model and featured the company’s more luxurious cars. In fact, many of the cars were similar to Chrysler’s high-end offerings of the time period.
The Daewoo LeMans is perhaps Daewoo’s greatest commercial success. The car was first produced in 1997 and became one of their best selling automobiles of all time. It came in several different versions and was sold worldwide rather than solely in Asian markets.
In 1998, Daewoo came out with another one of their most popular cars. The car, known as the Daewoo Matiz, was the company’s best selling product for four years after its release.
Daewoo Motors continued to produce vehicles into the 2000s despite periods of financial difficulty. Their parent company, Daewoo Group, was finally forced to sell them to General Motors in 2001. General Motors continued producing Daewoo cars until 2012 when it replaced the division with their own GM Korea brand.
Daewoo Motors does not have a current flagship model as the company shut its doors officially in 2011. However, during the period that they were operating, they produced several flagship cars. The most recent, and most popular, of these was the Daewoo Imperial.
The Imperial was a mid-size car based on the popular Daewoo Royale. The Royale was offered in several different levels of luxury over the years. These included the Royale Diesel, Royale Salon, Royale Duke, Royale XQ, and Royale Prince.
The Daewoo Imperial is a more luxurious and performance based variant on the Royale line. It is considered the ultimate development of the line. It was initially developed in response to cars such as the Hyundai Sonata and the Grandeur.
The Imperial featured a unique mix of styling. It was designed to look like a combination between a traditional Japanese luxury sedan and a modern American luxury sedan like the contemporary Chrysler Imperial. Features included a vinyl roof, anti-lock breaks, digital instrumentation, cruise control, automatic climate control air conditioning, power windows, power door locks, power steering, a trip computer, and leather upholstery.
A 3-Liter engine and a four-speed automatic transmission came stock on the Imperial. The powertrain was able to produce a top speed of up to 121 mph. The vehicle was produced from 1988 to 1993.
Daewoo Motors was replaced by GM Korea in 2011. The company does not have any current models.
Daewoo produced an extensive number of models over the years. A few of the most popular and well known include the Daewoo LeMans, the Royale line of Daewoo cars, and the Daewoo Matiz.
Daewoo LeMans: The LeMans holds the distinction of being the first car Daewoo Motors officially produced in South Korea. It was manufactured between the years of 1986 and 1994. The LeMans started with the basic European Opel design and went from there. The car featured a compact body type and went through several variations and special editions over the years.
Daewoo Royale: The Royale series of cars was one of the most popular lines produced by Daewoo Motors. They were offered from 1983 to 1991. The cars were built on a mid-size frame. The ever so popular Daewoo Imperial, the brand’s flagship car, was a more luxurious version of the Royale series.
Daewoo Matiz: The Matiz was a five-door hatchback. Like the LeMans and Royale, it was one of the Daewoo’s best selling automobiles. The first generation launched in 1998 to much success. The Matiz is now produced under the Chevrolet brand by General Motors. It is now known as the Chevrolet Spark.