GM Daewoo Chief Executive Officer Michael Grimaldi, right, poses with models beside the “G2X” roadster in a photo session after the press conference launching the new model in Yeongjong-do island, Incheon, Thursday.
/ Korea Times
By Ryu Jin
YEONGJONG-DO, Incheon _ GM Daewoo Auto & Technology said Thursday that it will begin selling its new ``G2X'' roadster, the famous Saturn Sky with a different badge, from next month. GM Daewoo aims to sell more than 400 units of the vehicle a year.
With young local motorists pursuing both speed and style as their main target, the G2X (Go to Extreme) is a two-seat sports car, which was first unveiled in South Korea at last year's Busan Motor Show.
Saturn Sky is the world's renowned roadster manufactured by Saturn Corp., a sister company of the U.S. auto giant General Motors. GM Daewoo, South Korea's third-largest automaker, is owned by GM and its partners.
``Now our customers here will see the most exciting new product in GM Daewoo's short five-year history: the hot, sizzling, new G2X,'' GM Daewoo Chief Executive Officer Michael Grimaldi said in a launching ceremony on Yeongjong island, west of Seoul.
GM Daewoo said that the re-badged version of the Saturn Sky roadster will be sold with the G2X mark in the South Korean market starting Sept. 1 for 43.9 million won ($46,600).
The G2X features a 2-liter, V4, 264 hp engine with turbocharger. Gasoline direct injection accelerates the roadster to 100 km per hour from a standing start in just 5.5 seconds. Only a five-speed automatic transmission is available, for now.
``The G2X is a classic roadster with abundant power and breathtaking acceleration. Hence, it will offer true sports car performance and an exhilarating driving experience,'' Grimaldi said in a statement.
GM Daewoo officials said the introduction of the G2X is a good example of GM Daewoo's synergy effect as a family member of GM. Lee Hyun-il, executive director for marketing, said the company has a sales target of 400 units per year.
But the newcomer has already found itself in a controversy over its price _ it sells for $46,600 in South Korea, almost double the price of $26,000-$29,000 in the United States.
Another controversy is over the ``nationality'' of the model. Though it will carry the badge of GM Daewoo, industry sources point out that the G2X should be categorized as an ``imported'' vehicle.
``We cannot disclose the concrete cost structure. But we think the price is not that high when dealer margins as well as various taxes and tariffs are taken into account,'' a GM Daewoo official said on condition of anonymity.