There is a spurt in demand for Daewoo Motors Indias
small car, Matiz. The company says it received more than 6,000 orders against full payment
in December 1999. The company claims this is a nearly 220 per cent increase compared to orders it had
secured in November 1999.
Daewoo has been able to supply 4,045 cars against these
orders. The number includes some 225 cars that have been exported. The company India has
recently secured an Italian order for 2,500 Matiz cars The cars will be exported in the
first half of 2000. The first consignment of 500 cars will be shipped by mid-January, and
the rest will be despatched in monthly consignments of 500 units. Indian-made Matiz cars
have already found their way to Egypt and Sri Lanka.
Daewoo Motors Indias managing director, S.G.
Awasthi, says Daewoo is giving preference to the domestic market and to that extent
exports have received less emphasis. The company has a delivery backlog of over 3,000 cars
at present. The only solution is to step up production, and the company is planning to do
just that. On an average, Daewoo Motors India makes 150 cars a day now.
Matiz production is at its peak in Daewoo''s Korean plant,
which is hard-pressed to meet the Indian demand for essential parts as it has also to look
after other export obligations. In the eight-month period ended November 1999, Daewoo
Motor Company of Korea exported 36,592 Matiz cars to Italy although the vehicle is priced
about $1,000 higher than other Korean-made small cars.
Daewoo Motors India has also developed a
compressed natural gas version of the Cielo, the companys first model for India. The
CNG-run car will be on display at the Auto Expo to be held in New Delhi in January 2000.
This model will be sold exclusively in the Indian market. Mr Awasthi feels that CNG
versions of other models including the Nexia -- will be introduced over a period of