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Future models - Daewoo - Lacetti - hatch

Lacetti hatch delayed

Hatched: Lacetti five-door is expected to almost double small car sales for Daewoo.

Five-door version of Lacetti hatch is key to Daewoo sales volumes

Daewoo logo15 Sep 2003

DAEWOO has fired its first salvo in its bid to establish itself as a serious small car segment contender with the J200 series Lacetti five-door hatchback.

A pre-production prototype premiered at the Frankfurt motor show in September, although Australians will have to wait until August 2004 to drive one.

But Daewoo chief executive officer Nick Reilly said there was a slim chance sales may start locally in June, which is when the United Kingdom starts getting its cars.

It all depends on production. Left-hand drive Lacetti hatchbacks begin rolling down the line in December, with the right-hand drive variants following in March.

The range will initially be made up of 68kW 1.4, 80kW 1.6 and 90kW 1.8-litre twin-cam 16-valve four-cylinder petrol engine cars. Aussie cars will only use the latter.

A more ideal 2.0-litre unit will soon be announced. Local GM Daewoo officials had requested this engine from the beginning for all local Lacettis, but South Korea declined.

This is one reason why the Nubira name was dropped in Australia for the Lacetti. GM Daewoo believed the market would perceive a J200 Nubira 1.8-litre as a retrograde step when the old car had a 98kW 2.0-litre engine.

Transmission choices will continue to be either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic, transmitting drive via the front wheels.

The Lacetti hatchback was styled by Giorgetto Giugiaro’s team in Italy, and is built at the Kunsan plant in South Korea.

It has the task of re-establishing the embattled marque through out Europe and replaces the unloved Nubira hatchback, sold here briefly in the late 1990s as the Nubira "Sunhatch".

A Euro NCAP four-star rating should help the Lacetti hatchback with its sales aspirations.

GM Daewoo Australia hopes the new Lacetti hatchback will lift its monthly local sales rate from 600 to 1000 units.

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