INCHEON -- GM Korea Co., the South Korean unit of General Motors Co., said Wednesday it will launch the GMC brand in the second half, with the Sierra Denali set to be released as the brand's launch model in the Korean market.
GM's decision to launch the GMC brand is part of the Detroit carmaker's multi-brand strategy in which the Korean unit produces compact SUVs in Korea and brings in large-sized SUVs and pickups from the United States.
GMC is GM's premium SUV and pickup truck brand. The Sierra Denali is a premium full-size pickup truck which was unveiled in Korea during a media event held in Incheon on Wednesday.
"Now, we are in the stage of a new chapter for GM in Korea, fulfilling our commitment made in 2018 and turning the spin towards growth with our confident strategy of strong export and multi brands in Korea," GM Korea Chief Executive Roberto Rempel said in a statement.
In 2018, GM vowed to keep its Korean operations running for at least the next 10 years and promised to introduce 15 models from 2018-2023 in exchange for fresh loans from the state-run Korea Development Bank (KDB), the second-biggest shareholder in GM Korea after GM.
The GMC brand will serve as crucial component of the multi-brand strategy in Korea, creating synergy with Chevrolet and Cadillac, Carlos Meinert, vice president in charge of sales, service and marketing at GM Korea, said.
GM Korea will continue to introduce new GM models to the domestic market along with the vehicles produced at its Bupyeong and Changwon plants, the statement said.
The company said it is "carefully" considering bringing in Cadillac's luxury electric vehicles such as the Lyriq and Celestiq to meet growing demand for zero-emission models in Asia's fourth-biggest economy.
The fifth-generation GMC Sierra shares the same platform as the Cadillac Escalade and Chevrolet Tahoe.
The Sierra Denali comes with a 6.2-liter gasoline engine that generates as much as 420 horsepower and a 10-speed automatic transmission.
Further details, including prices and specifications, will be released later.
In recent years, GM Korea has struggled with lackluster sales in South Korea due to lack of new models and the COVID-19 pandemic.
From January to May, GM Korea's sales fell 25 percent to 96,068 units from 127,907 a year earlier.
Its lineup is composed of four locally assembled models -- the Spark mini car, the Malibu sedan and the Trailblazer and Trax SUVs -- and five imported ones -- the Colorado pickup, the Bolt all-electric car and the Equinox, Traverse and Tahoe SUVs.
Most of the models currently sold in South Korea are from the Chevrolet brand. (Yonhap)
Sales Results - May 2022 - South Korea - Chevrolet
|MODEL||MAY 2022 / MAY 2021||MAY 2022||MAY 2021||YTD 2022 / YTD 2021||YTD 2022||YTD 2021|
Chevrolet Camaro + 54% Colorado pick-up +400% & Equinox +800% were GM star turns, Chevy Spark is GM South Korea sales King in 2022 & gm Electric two EV's the future of GM South Korea hit 21 sales. A bad month for GM South Korea sales though down -39.79% in May.
Nice to see GMC arrive in South Korea, they make some superb trucks the best in the business. Lincoln & Jaguar have had big upswings in South Korea so might be nice to see Cadillac do it, luxury foreign made car are top of the South Koreans must have foreign imports , all be it the actual sales numbers are not that big. GM South Korea sales have been in a downward spiral for ages now, the chip shortages have not help the problems much. GM South Korean's workforce have been greedy wanting big pay rises every year, that's fed into high prices making the products made there a bit uncompetitive.
The South Korean new car market edges down -3.3% year-on-year in May to 143,319 units, including 119,807 local vehicles (-3.5%) and 23,512 foreigners (-2.4%). Year-to-date, volumes are now down -11.5% to 656,047 including 547,733 (-11.6%) for locals and 108,314 (-10.9%) for foreigners. Hyundai (+4.3%) tops the brands charts for only the second time this year with 35.7% share but this is enough to reclaim the YTD pole position at 33.4% share. Kia (-4.7%) is down to 31.9% for the month and 33.1% year-to-date. Genesis (-6.1%) remains at #3 with over 12,000 units sold and 8.5% share, identical to its YTD level. Mercedes (-3.9%) is the most popular foreign carmaker again, distancing BMW (+2.3%). Ssangyong (-13.7%), Renault Samsung (-19.6%) and GM Korea (-39.8%) all fall apart below. Audi (+714.4%) off a low base and Volkswagen (-13%) round out the Top 10. Notice also Jaguar (+200%), Lincoln (+86.5%), Land Rover (+48.5%) and Bentley (+33.9%) all securing stellar year-on-year lifts.
In the foreign models aisle, the Mercedes E-Class (+47.7%) reinforces its dominance by selling double the volume of the #2, the BMW 5 Series (-16.7%). The Mercedes S-Class (-42.3%) remains in third place while we have two Teslas in the Top 5: the Model Y (-71.2%) at #4 and the Model 3 (+630.2%) at #5. The Audi A6 leaps up six spots on April to #6, the BMW 3 Series (+11.8%) is down two to #7 and the Mercedes GLE (-18.5%) up 14 to #8. Notice also the VW Arteon (+894.1%) up 19 ranks to #11, the VW Tiguan (+103.3%) up 18 to #16 and the Mercedes A-Class (+13.6%) up 28 to #17. The Ford Bronco makes its entrance in the Korean Top 50 foreign models directly at #30.