This is a big one. GM’s world-car ambitions over the last decade or so have been based on its former Daewoo plants in South Korea, which turned out 2m global-market econoboxes last year alone. Now the Financial Times reports that all five GM-DAT plants will be temporarily shut down in December, putting one of GM’s best-performing units on ice. Unfortunately for GM, this is not simply another symptom of its cash incineration and tightened credit. According to company officials, the shutdown stems from “slowing demand and GM’s need to manage production and rising inventories.” “The economic crisis is truly global,” Jay Cooney, GM Daewoo’s vice-president, said. “What we’re beginning to see here in Asia is no different from what is going on in Europe and what has already happened in the US.” Slowing markets across the Asia Pacific Rim mean the five GM-DAT factories will go from operating at 110 percent capacity to a full stop, as GM tries to sell off its remaining inventories of Korean-made Chevrolet, GM, Daewoo, Holden, Buick and Pontiac models. GM also announced that its entire Asian arm lost $6m in Q3 of this year, the first such loss in years for the usually profitable division. This also means that Asia will now be waiting (just like us) to even have a shot at buying a new Cruze which hit the streets as the Daewoo Lacetti last month.
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