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First look: Holden-by-Daewoo Viva and Barina

Holden by Daewoo: Lacetti-based Holden Viva range will include the rebadged Lacetti hatch that Daewoo never sold locally, while Kalos evolves into Barina.

Holden to offer rebadged Daewoo Kalos and Lacetti from September as Euro Barina axed

Holden logo16 Jun 2005

By JOHN MELLOR in SOUTH KOREA

HOLDEN has confirmed it will replace the XC Barina and the TS Astra Classic with cars from GM Daewoo in South Korea from around September this year.

The Barina will be replaced with a Holden-badged version of the Daewoo Kalos previously sold in Australia – not the updated Aveo shown at the Shanghai auto show in April – and the Astra Classic will be replaced by the Viva, which is a ‘Holdenised’ version of the Daewoo Lacetti.

The TK Barina will be available in three-door and five-door hatchback variants while the JF Viva will come in four-door sedan, five-door hatch and five-door wagon iterations.

The Viva, which is powered by the Port Melbourne-built Family II engine, will sit in the market between the Barina and the European-sourced AH series Astra, which continues.

Like the Astra it replaces, the Viva has a 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine that produces 90kW of power and 165Nm of torque.

Meantime, looking at Kalos data, the Daewoo-sourced Barina will have a bigger engine than the current Spanish-built Barina.

This will get Holden’s entry-level car up into the 1.5-litre small-car territory. The 1498cc E-Tec engine generates 62kW and 128Nm. Claimed top speed is 170km/h with 0-100km/h claimed at 13.3 seconds.

This compares with the 1364cc Barina, which generates 66kW of power and 125Nm of torque.

Both the Holden-styled Viva and the Barina have been given a work-over by Holden engineers who have attempted to tweak the Korean-ness out of the Daewoo base on which they are built.

Holden has also indicated that Daewoo has made modifications to the engines to improve drivability.

Holden’s executive director of engineering, Tony Hyde, told GoAuto last month that Australians would be able to tell the difference in the way the Holden versions behave on the road.

Holden chairman and managing director Denny Mooney said: "Barina and Viva deliver significant bang for buck, extremely class-competitive levels of quality as well as the driving feel people have come to expect from Holden.

"We are taking advantage of General Motors’ strong design, development and manufacturing facilities through GMDAT (GM Daewoo Auto & Technology) in South Korea to tailor cars to the Australian market.

"Holden’s engineers have made significant contributions to the way cars drive and feel and we know Australians will be impressed with their overall performance," he said.

The move to importing Holdens from Korea follows the closure of the GM Daewoo franchise in Australia last December by Holden, which could not make money out of selling Daewoos through a separate dealer network.

Holden admitted price competition in small cars was too great to justify a separate network trying to brand a range of cars.

By selling the cars as Holdens through the Holden dealer network, the company is pinning its hopes on savings from marketing and administration costs to be able to keep prices sharp for customers, while also making money on its Korean imports.

Prices have yet to be announced, however the Daewoo Lacetti went on sale in Australia at $19,490. The Astra Classic starts at $18,990. The Daewoo Kalos was priced from $14,990 while the Barina sells from $14,490.

The move from Spain to Korea marks the third region from which the Barina has been sourced. The first Barinas sold in Australia were made by Suzuki in Japan.

The announcement involves a number of landmarks.

It marks the revival of the Holden Viva name from the 1960s. Holden launched a re-badged version of the HA Vauxhall Viva as a small-car entrant in 1964. It was replaced by the first Torana, the HB, in 1967.

It also marks the first time in 16 years that the Holden Family II engine will be fitted to a Holden car since the departure of the JE Camira and the LD Astra (a Nissan Pulsar with a Holden engine) in mid-1989.

13 center image The Family II engine was made for the first Camira in the late 1970s and exported – mainly to Europe initially and then to Asia.

But in one of the quirks of an increasingly global motor industry, even though Holden made the Family II engine in Melbourne, from 1989 onwards it was never fitted to any of its cars and only ever appeared in this market in imported Daewoos.

The move to sell Daewoos under the Holden brand is part of a global strategy by GM to expunge the Daewoo name in most world markets except Korea.

GM Daewoo exports cars to more than 150 countries using some of the GM group’s leading brands including: Chevrolet in parts of Asia Pacific, Europe, North America and Latin America Buick in China and Pontiac and Suzuki in North America.

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