Though General Motors has not commented, a spokesman for the Korean Metal Workers Union, which represents employees of GM Korea, said that the automaker plans to launch the next generation of the Chevrolet Spark in the first half of 2015 but that next Aveo (sold as the Sonic in the United States) will be delayed.
Choi Jong-hak said that the union has also been told that the company will continue to produce the two models in Korea, dispelling rumors that production would be moved, perhaps to the United States. After GM announced that the next Chevy Cruze would not be assembled in Korea, there were concerns about Aveo and Spark production, but GM Korea remains the Detroit based automaker’s major Asian manufacturing base as well as GM’s engineering and design center for its smallest cars.
“The management said it originally planned to launch the redesigned Aveo in late 2015, but the plan was pushed back. It also said it will produce the new Spark in the first half of 2015,” Choi said.
GM Korea currently exports the Spark and Aveo/Sonic to the United States, Europe and other countries. It also supplies knock-down kits for final assembly in Uzbekistan and elsewhere.
The Spark is assembled at GM’s plant in Changwon, and the Aveo is made at GM Korea’s headquarters in Bupyeong, near Seoul.
GM Korea built 215,177 Spark cars last year, with exports accounting for almost 70 percent of production.