Daewoo For 1999
By Carey Russ
It's a rare event when a new manufacturer enters the American automotive arena. Daewoo, ranked 18th largest in the Fortune magazine ranking of the 500 largest global companies, has done just that. The Korean manufacturer has a niche-marketing strategy for its line of cars. Not only does it have company-owned showrooms around the U.S. that feature a "no-hassle", low-pressure buying experience, Daewoo is actively pursuing young buyers in a very unusual way - college campus advisors. Hundreds of "Daewoo Campus Advisors" at over 400 U.S. colleges now work as Daewoo marketing representatives.
Daewoo offers three cars, the low-cost subcompact Lanos, the compact Nubira, and the mid-size Leganza. An international team of designers from ItalDesign in Italy, Porsche in Germany, and Lotus and Daewoo's own technical center in the United Kingdom were involved in the creation of the cars.
Besides automobiles, Daewoo is also involved in trading, construction, manufacture of heavy equipment, consumer electronics, home appliances, and textiles.
The Leganza sedan is Daewoo's top-of-the-line luxury offering, and features styling developed with the assistance of Italian designer Giugiaro, a 131-hp dual-overhead-cam, 16-valve four-cylinder engine, fully-independent suspension, and four-wheel antilock disc brakes. It is designed for quiet comfort, and three trim levels are available.
Nubira means "to go everywhere" in Korean, and that is Daewoo's goal for its compact but roomy sedans, hatchbacks, and wagons of that name. Two trim levels are offered. The Nubira's chassis has fully-independent suspension and four-wheel disc brakes, with antilock available. The engine is a twin-cam, 16-valve 129-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder, matched to a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission.
The subcompact Lanos was designed to be inexpensive to buy and maintain and to have plenty of interior space for its small size. It is available as a four-door sedan or three-door hatchback, in three trim levels. The Lanos has an interesting ancestry, as the Italian design form ItalDesign was involved in the styling and Porsche did development work on the chassis. A 1.6-liter twin-cam, 16-valve, 105-hp four- cylinder engine provides power, matched to a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission.