Chrysler considers hiring Chinese automaker Chery to build small car for international markets

According to Automotive news Chrysler group is looking at hiring China's Chery Automobile Co. to assemble a small car for sale. Chery, which was criticized for cloning GM’s Daewoo/Chevrolet Matiz would build a car that would be sold under the Dodge or Chrysler brand in the international markets, but not the US and probably, not in Europe also.

Suppliers and other sources in China say that Chery President Yin Tongyao is planned to visit Chrysler executives in Detroit on Friday, May 5, to discuss the deal. A Chrysler spokesman declined to confirm Yin's visit.

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A $9.000 Car Wash for the Rich & Famous

This British bloke, named Paul Dalton charges $9.000 for a car wash, but as you can imagine, its not your usual scrub & go wash. MrDalton imports microfibre towels from Australia and special wax from Brazil to perform his 61-stage "Pinnacle Wash". The process takes about two weeks per car, and includes four rinses with filtered water and three generous coats of a wax which.

If any of you are put off by the cost, Mr Dalton offers a 21-stage wash for the less rich & famous for rip of price of only…$700

While Im on the car wash biz, the immigration topic seem to have been heavily debated on the Professional Car-Care Online Bulletin Board. After 455 votes, participants in PCC Online’s poll seem divided with 52% of those voting think the carwash industry can survive without immigrant labour, while the rest of them (48%) believe that any policy deporting immigrants back to their former countries will severely weaken the industry.

Well anyway, before I close this subject, I think that the Car Wash biz should start getting some ideas from this Wet & Wild music video that shows, how men really want there loved one –er sorry, there car I mean… washed!

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TVR’s future is secured according to Autocar magazine. New models coming

The British magazine reports that despite recent job cuts and the imminent closure of its Blackpool plant the company is planning new models and relocating the company to purposely designed premises – possibly overseas.

TVR’s Russian owner Nikolai Smolenski has ambitious production targets in his sight, to more than double TVRs greatest ever year to 5000 cars a year with a focus to export to expanding markets like Dubai, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. Making this many cars would put it on a par with Aston Martin.

Autocar reveals that there are three live relocation possibilities on the tables, Wales, The Midlands or overseas. However no details will be released until TVR have informed Blackpool union officials of their decision. Insiders say that TVR anticipate that production will be up and running this time next year.

Die hard TVR fans can expect to see a three-tier model range of models broadly based on the current Sagaris, Tuscan and Cerberra with roadster, targa and coupe variants.

Sources reveal that the appearance of a new luxury expensive supercar is very likely to be added to the range within a couple of years.

Chas Hallett, Autocar editor said "News of a TVR rescue is terrific, but it’s precarious position should still not be under-estimated. It still needs to secure premises and find skilled workers. But a world without TVR is a grim one for anyone interested in cars."

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James Bond Aston Martin DBS Revealed

Aston Martin has unveiled the new DBS which will be driven by James Bond, the legendary British secret agent, in the next 007 film, “CASINO ROYALE”, to be produced by Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli for EON Productions.

In true Bond style, specific details of the new DBS remain “top secret”, although Aston Martin Design Director, Marek Reichman, said: “This car encapsulates a link between our elegant DB9 road car and the powerful DBR9 race car. It signals an evolutionary development of Aston Martin’s world renowned style and elegance.

“While hinting at our future design direction, the DBS also has very clear links with our heritage – it is instantly recognisable as an Aston Martin.”

Aston Martin Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Dr Ulrich Bez added: “The DBS continues our proud and lengthy association with James Bond.

“The DBS is not of the understated elegance of a DB9, nor the youthful agility of the V8 Vantage. It is explosive power in a black tie and has its own unique character which will equal that of James Bond.”

Starring Daniel Craig as James Bond, “CASINO ROYALE” is scheduled for release in November, 2006.

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2007 Mercedes CLS-Class: New engines -350 CGI, 500 & 63 AMG- and Safety Technologies

The Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class will kick off model year 2007 with three newly developed engines, even better safety and a more extensive range of standard equipment.

The four-door Coupé is powered by the world’s first petrol engine featuring piezoelectric direct injection and spray-guided combustion. The 215 kW/ 292 hp six-cylinder engine of the CLS 350 CGI consumes about ten percent less fuel than a comparable V6 petrol engine with port injection.

The CLS 500 will be equipped with the new V8 engine from the S-Class, whose output of 285 kW/388 hp is about 26 percent higher than that of the previous eight-cylinder engine. Another new development is the CLS 63 AMG, whose V8 naturally aspirated engine generates now 378 kW/ 514 hp, 38 hp more than the CLS 55 AMG

Mercedes-Benz is enhancing the vehicle’s standard range of safety features by adding the PRE-SAFE® anticipatory occupant protection system and flashing brake lights. The new CLS-Class models will celebrate their market launches in June 2006.

The new CLS models will cost in Europe between 56,434 euros and 101,094 euros. The price of the CLS 320 CDI will remain unchanged, despite an increased range of safety features and a higher-torque engine.

PRESS RELEASE: NEW CLS 350 CGI with Direct Petrol Injection System

The world’s first direct petrol injection system with spray-guided combustion points the way ahead for passenger car petrol engines, and will be available in the new CLS 350 CGI from the third quarter of 2006. The engine’s innovative injection procedure makes for much better fuel and thermodynamic efficiency than the wall-guided combustion process previously employed with direct injection. With a fuel consumption of 9.1–9.3 litres per 100 kilometres in the European driving cycle, the six-cylinder Coupé has a range of approximately 70 kilometres on one tankful (80 litres).

The main advantage of the CGI engine (CGI = Stratified-Charged Gasoline Injection) lies in the stratified operating mode from which it takes its name. In this mode the engine is run with high excess air and thus excellent fuel efficiency. Now, thanks to multiple injection, it is for the first time possible to extend this lean-burn operating mode to higher rpm and load ranges too. During each power stroke, a series of injections takes place, spaced just fractions of a second apart. This has the effect of significantly improving mixture formation, combustion and fuel consumption.

Among the most important components of this innovative direct petrol injection system are the fast-acting piezoelectric injectors. They have nozzles which open outwards to create an annular gap just a few microns wide. This gap shapes the fuel jet and produces a uniform, hollow-cone-shaped spray pattern. The microsecond response times of the piezoelectric injectors provide the basis for delivering multiple injections per power stroke, and thus for lean-burn operation. By allowing flexible and efficient control of the combustion process they play a key part in ensuring the engine's outstanding fuel efficiency.

Effortless performance twinned with excellent fuel economy

The Mercedes direct-injection engine can still operate in a lean-burn stratified mode at speeds in excess of 120 km/h. When driving on main roads and motorways at largely constant speed and with proper anticipation, the CGI engine outperforms the fuel economy of the six-cylinder engine with conventional injection technology by up to 1.5 litres per 100 km, a saving of approximately 15 percent.

Low fuel consumption and excellent power delivery are not at odds with each other on the second-generation Mercedes-Benz direct petrol injection model. On the contrary, the engine delivers 15 kW/20 hp more power than the conventional-injection V6 and four percent more torque. Thus the CGI engine combines its excellent fuel economy with a level of effortless driving enjoyment that is unprecedented in the six-cylinder segment. This allows the new CLS 350 CGI to accelerate from zero to 100 km/h in just 6.7 seconds on its way to a top speed of 250 km/h (electronically limited).

CLS 63 AMG: 514 hp, 0-200 km/h in just 15,1 sec

Mercedes-AMG has developed the new CLS 63 AMG, which is powered by a 378 kW/ 514 hp V8 naturally aspirated engine. The new vehicle’s output has been increased by 28 kW/38 hp compared to the predecessor model, the CLS 55 AMG.

With its impressive performance, dynamic design and exclusive equipment, the new CLS 63 AMG from Mercedes-AMG is a highly unusual automobile. The unique four-door Coupé is powered by a 6.3-litre V8 engine that was completely developed by AMG. With an output of 378 kW/514 hp and a maximum torque of 630 Nm, the new AMG power pack guarantees the very best in driving performance: the CLS 63 AMG accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.5 seconds and reaches 200 km/h in 15.1 seconds. The vehicle’s top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h.

AMG SPEEDSHIFT 7G-TRONIC takes care of the power transfer in the new CLS 63 AMG. The driver can select the fully automatic or manual setting and change gears using the selector lever on the new silver-coloured AMG aluminium gearshift paddles. The seven-speed automatic system adapts itself to the driving style — be it dynamic or more laid-back. Accessible via a switch in the centre console, the driving modes “S” (Sport), “C” (Comfort) and “M” (Manual) in the new CLS 63 AMG each have different gearshift characteristics and speeds. Gear-changing time in “S” mode is about 30 percent faster than in “C” mode — and in “M” mode it is up to around 50 percent quicker.

CLS 500 & CLS 320 CDI: New eight-cylinder engine and a V6 diesel with higher torque

The range of engines for the CLS-Class now includes two eight-cylinder engines with high output and torque. The CLS 500 will be equipped with the 285 kW/388 hp V8 engine from the S-Class, whose output surpasses that of the previous eight-cylinder unit by about 26 percent. At 530 Nm the engine’s maximum torque also exceeds that of its predecessor by around 15 percent. The new CLS 500 accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in just 5,4 seconds, 0.7 seconds faster than the previous model.

An all-new V6 diesel (165 kW/224 hp) will meanwhile increase the maximum torque of the CLS 320 CDI from 510 to 540 Nm.

All of the CLS engines will be combined with the 7G-TRONIC seven-speed automatic transmission, which comes as standard equipment. What’s more, manual gear switching will be improved as a result of optional new gearshift paddles conveniently located on the steering wheel.

Safety technology with PRE-SAFE as standard

In the future the CLS-Class’s range of standard equipment will be enhanced by the internationally award-winning occupant protection system PRE-SAFE®. The system automatically responds by preparing the vehicle and its occupants for an impending collision. It does this by tensioning the seat belts of the driver and front passenger, adjusting the front passenger seat to an optimal crash position, and automatically closing the sunroof and the side windows if the vehicle is in danger of skidding. Such precautionary measures ensure that seat belts and airbags offer the best possible protection in the event of an impact. Just as unique as PRE-SAFE® are the NECK-PRO head restraints which are also fitted as standard. During a rear impact the sensor-controlled head restraints are moved forward to provide protection for the driver’s and front passenger’s heads within milliseconds. This allows the crash-responsive head restraints to reduce the risk of whiplash injuries.

Mercedes-Benz is fitting the CLS-Class with flashing brake lights as standard to prevent rear-end collisions. These lights are more effective than conventional brake lights at warning drivers approaching from behind. And due to faster braking reaction times, the braking distance can be reduced by about 5.5 metres at 100 km/h.

Beginning in mid-2006, standard equipment for the CLS-Class will include the ADAPTIVE BRAKE system originally developed for the S-Class. Electronic control enables the hydraulic braking system to provide support functions which further improve safety during emergency situations or when driving on wet roads. In addition, ADAPTIVE BRAKE makes starting on hills easier and prevents unintended forward rolling at traffic lights or in stop-and-go traffic.

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2007 Fiat 500: New Interactive Site opened, design your Fiat 500

Fiat 500 officially coming in late 2007. New interactive site where you can build your personal Fiat 500

According to Fiat, in 500 days –or about 1 ½ years, the new Italian mini which will be based on the Trepiuno concept will go in production. The “500”, will also base Ford Europe’s Ka successor, as the two companies signed last year a agreement to co-operate on the joint development and production of a small car (sub-B segment). The outcome of this project will be the delivery to market of two differentiated small cars with individual exterior and interior design.

But before we see the “500” in real life, Fiat has planned an international operation known as “500 wants you”. It is a project that uses the Internet from where it will extend to other means of communication.

“500 wants you” will start as an online laboratory, where users discover the stylistic concept of the new car, express their preferences, propose ideas and contribute, for the first time in motoring history, to its creation, in a combined, active way. The site will be open to the public’s contributions and expectations, which will be assessed and possibly used during the actual development of the product.

What is more, the “500 wants you” will evolve into “500ology”, the largest online encyclopaedia of stories and pictures dedicated to the 500, written jointly with the public. Visitors will be able to enter the “Configuration Lab” to play around with and model Fiat’s concept car, and record their ideas. And there will even be a space dedicated to activities for designers, including a competition organised with Designboom (a web magazine for the design world) and an opportunity to create and customise the home page of the site specifically for the web designer community.

But, like many things on the Internet, the “” site is in progress, which will welcome new content, activities and initiatives, according to a plan that envisages several updates during the 500 days that precede the launch of the new car, and which will gradually be introduced over the coming months.

In other words, for Fiat, “500 wants you” is an innovative, revolutionary philosophy, employed to conceive a new product, which involves designers, creative people and above all future users in the process directly: “For the first time in the history of our company, and perhaps of the motor industry as a whole, a car will be created with the public and for the public,” explained Luca De Meo, Brand & Commercial Manager for Fiat.


Create your own unique Fiat 500 at

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Volkswagen board extends the contract of Bernd Pischetsrieder

Volkswagen AG's supervisory board unanimously decided to extend the contract of Dr. Bernd Pischetsrieder, Chairman of the Board of Management, for another 5 years, until April 16, 2012, ending speculation that the German automaker would change leadership.

In the past two months, Pischetsrieder's future as the Chairman of the VW board was said to be unsafe, as the labor representatives who hold 10 of the 20 board seats, where against his aggressive cost-cutting plan which among others, included 20.000 job-cuts by 2009.

Adding to those speculations, was a quote from former VW Chairman and present Chairman of Porsche's supervisory board, Ferdinand Piech, who said that Pischetsrieder's future was an "open issue."

The announcement for the extension of Pischetsrieder's future in VW came late on Tuesday after a supervisory board meeting in Hamburg, Germany, one day before VW’s annual shareholder meeting. Although terms of the new contract where not released, according to sources, Pischetsrieder re-election has said to be connected with the smoothening of his plans for reform, including keeping VW's component plants.

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2007 Volvo S60 facelift: Refined with sportier profile

The Volvo S60 is being further refined, with the sights firmly set on sharpening the sedan model’s already sporty profile.

“We’re making the S60 even sportier in every respect,” says Gerry Keaney, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Sales and Customer Service “We’ve both spiced up the design and fine-tuned the chassis to create a car with even greater driving appeal.”

The front spoiler (option) has been redesigned to get a more pronounced and protruding contour at the bottom. On optional variants the entire front spoiler, including the sills and rear lower bumper, are colour coordinated with the car body. The boot lid can also be specified with a sporty new wing spoiler.

The 2007 model also gets a new grille with a larger and more pronounced Volvo emblem in the form of the classic but rejuvenated iron symbol.

The door mirrors feature integrated side indicators. At the same time, a practical new indicator function is being introduced: Press lightly on the lever and the indicator flashes three times.

Three new exterior colours – Electric Silver, Orinoco Blue and Maple Red – give increased freedom of choice, as do the three new aluminium wheels – Nodus (7x16 inches), Tucana (7.5x17 inches) and Eudora (8x18 inches).

Sportier interior with metal decor trim and twin-tone leather upholstery

The interior has a number of new features, including new Grid Aluminium metal decor panels. These panels are optional and have been designed to create a more three-dimensional impression and tactile feeling. On the column stalks, the air intake controls and the steering wheel, aluminium bright work has been added. The bright work is also included on the new three-spoke sports steering wheel in perforated leather (option).

To further enhance the sporty tone, the instrument panel can be optionally specified with the same type of watch-like instruments introduced in the new Volvo S80 and that were previously the exclusive preserve of Volvo’s sportiest model, the S60 R. Another new option is the interior rear-view mirror with built-in compass.

The range of upholstery has been renewed with a sporty leather upholstery option in two contrasting shades and textures topped with contrasting stitching.

Increased driving pleasure with advanced chassis

In order to highlight the car’s sporty nature out on the road, the standard chassis has been further developed in a number of areas. Firmer shock absorbers and springs front and rear increase the car’s torsional rigidity by about 25 percent. The anti-roll bars are also sturdier than before and the bushes are solid, which together promote a harmonious balance between reassuring road manners and supple ride comfort.

“The further-developed chassis makes the S60 even sportier and more enjoyable to drive without compromising on comfort,” says Gerry Keaney.

Active Bi-Xenon Light – turning headlights

The Volvo S60 can also optionally be equipped with Active Bi-Xenon Light – the moving headlight beams that follow the curve of the road. A mini-processor is used to measure and analyse a number of parameters and optimise the beam pattern accordingly. The headlight beams can be turned up to 15 degrees in either direction, and can thus illuminate a longer stretch of road even in curves.

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First FIA GT3 European Championship races at Silverstone

Almost a year exactly since the idea was first put on paper, the FIA GT3 European Championship will take to the track for its inaugural races on Saturday, May 6th

With a grand total of 51 cars having signed up for the season, a grid of up to 46 cars is expected to line up on the Silverstone grid on Saturday, May 6th, for the first one-hour round. The remaining cars should be ready in time for the second event in Oschersleben.

Eight manufacturers will be represented in this first race : the Ascari KZ1R, entered by British team Damax, the Aston Martin DBRS9, entered by Barwell Motorsport and BMS Scuderia Italia, the Corvette Z06 GT3, entered by Carsport Callaway and Riverside, the Dodge Viper Competition Coupe, entered by Racing Logistic, Racing Box and Pouchelon Racing, the Ferrari 430 Challenge GT3, entered by JMB Racing Ferrari, the Maserati GranSport Light, in the hands of GPC Sport and AF Corse, the Lamborghini Gallardo, from Reiter Engineering and S-Berg Racing, and last but by no means least, the Porsche 997 GT3 Cup, raced by Larbre Competition, SOFREV Auto Sport Promotion and Tech 9 Motorsport.

As for the drivers, they are a mixed group, including familiar faces from the British and FFSA French GT Championships, such as Roland Berville and Raymond Narac, racing a Larbre Competition Porsche 997 GT3 Cup, or Demitri Deverikos, who won the GT3 category of the British GT Championship last year with Tech 9, and who remains with the team in the GT3 Championship. Gabriel Balthazard (Sofrev), Frederic Makowiecki (Racing Logistic), James Ruffier (Riverside) are also French GT regulars.

A number of younger drivers are also taking part, such as 19-year old Jonathan Cocker, who won the British GT Championship in 2004 and the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia last year, and who will be racing for Barwell in an Aston Martin DBRS9. Maxime Dumarey, racing for Tech 9 Motorsport, is only 17, and already an experienced Belcar driver. Dennis Retera, aged 19, will be racing for S-Berg in a Lamborghini.

Plenty have been regulars in the FIA GT Championship over the years, such as Lilian Bryner, Enzo Calderari and Toni Seiler, all racing for BMS Scuderia Italia in an Aston Martin DBRS9. Bernhard Müller and Michael Trunk return to Lamborghini competition with Reiter Engineering, having raced first a Porsche and then a Lamborghini in the FIA GT Championship. They will be joined at Reiter by former N-GT race winner Jürgen von Gartzen.

The field is not all masculine, with BMS’s Lilian Bryner being joined on the grid by Rachel Green in a Pouchelon Racing Viper.

With any drivers over the age of 55 authorised to take part, regardless of their careers, some extremely well-known names will also line up, such as 1998 FIA GT Champion Klaus Ludwig, racing a Carsport Callaway Corvette Z06 GT3. Or Anthony Reid, who has had a long career in touring and sports cars, and who will be sharing his Pouchelon Dodge Viper with paraplegic racer Gilles Duqueine. Tiff Needell, who raced as far as Formula One, and is now better known as a broadcaster, will be racing for Barwell.

All cars will be on Michelin tyres, and the performance of the cars will be balanced by the FIA, who have been running tests at Paul Ricard and Dijon over the past months.


The Principles of the Championship :

* the most prestigious brands

* the most recent models

* limited racing preparation

* an original series concept

* prestigious meetings

* impeccable presentation

* an international environment with a welcoming atmosphere


* two one-hour free practice sessions

* two 20 minute qualifying sessions, separated by 10 minutes

Each driver takes part in one session

The first qualifying session sets the grid for the first race

The second qualifying session sets the grid for the second race

The fastest driver in each car starts the second race, the slower driver starts the first race

Two one-hour races, with a compulsory driver change between the 23rd and 37th minute, with a rolling start.


Each team must enter three cars

Each car has two drivers, who must not be ‘well-known’ drivers according to the criteria specified in the regulations

A maximum of three teams per manufacturer.

If there are less than six cars per manufacturer, no points will be scored


There are three separate classifications :

* FIA GT3 European Champion for Drivers (scale : 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1)

* FIA GT3 European Champion for Teams (scale : 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 - all three cars score for the team)

* FIA GT3 Manufacturers Cups for Drivers (scale : 10 -6-4-3-2-1) - if at least six cars enter per Manufacturer

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Mazda Miata / MX-5 “Bad Attitude” Video Ads

THESE ads of the new generation Miata / MX-5 roadster are said to have been cut by Mazda officials. Both follow Mazda’s parent Ford, SportKa ads in philosophy, showing the bad side of the Japanese roadsters character. Enjoy!

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Fake Chinese Ferrari !

According to European Commissioner for Justice and Home Affairs, Franco Frattini, the Chinese have “managed” to produce a fake Ferrari model. In the video (click here to see the video in Reuters), you can see Frattini holding a picture of a Ferrari, but unfortunately we can’t see which model.

''A car of this model, Ferrari has produced only 6 cars of this model. This is the seventh one, produced in China'' says Frattini.

The European Commission has announced it's going to crack down on counterfeiting and piracy, with coordinated action and sanctions throughout the continent. The Commission has recommended a minimum sentence is a term of four years’ imprisonment where the infringement is committed under the aegis of a criminal organisation or carries a serious risk to the health and safety of individuals. The amount of the fine will have to be at least EUR 100 000 or EUR 300 000 where there is a link with a criminal organisation or any risk to health and safety. Member States may impose heavier penalties or fines.

The seizure of counterfeited goods at the borders of the European Union increased by 1,000 percent between 1998 and 2004, with 103 million counterfeited and pirated items seized in 2004.


Counterfeiting and piracy: Commission proposes criminal law provisions to combat intellectual property offences

The Commission has today adopted a proposal for a directive to combat intellectual property offences that amends the proposal approved by it on 12 July 2005. It is thus responding to the Court ruling of 13 September 2005 in Case C-176/03, according to which the criminal law provisions necessary for the effective implementation of Community law are a matter for Community law[1]. Accordingly, the proposal for a Council framework decision to strengthen the criminal law framework to combat intellectual property offences[2] has been withdrawn and its provisions incorporated into the amended proposal for a directive.

According to Commission Vice-President Franco Frattini, who is responsible for justice, freedom and security matters, the new provisions proposed by the Commission represent the criminal law dimension of the fight against counterfeiting and piracy in Europe. Effective approximation of Member States’ criminal legislation in this field is the minimum needed to pursue together a major campaign aimed at eradicating these phenomena, which are causing serious harm to the economy. Nowadays, criminal organisations are focusing on these activities, which are often more lucrative than other forms of trafficking and on which the authorities do not crack down as much. Counterfeiters and pirates undermine legitimate businesses and pose a threat to innovation. What is more, in many cases the counterfeit goods are prejudicial to public health and safety. For the most recent statistics on counterfeiting listed by Member State please see the link:

The proposed measures are designed to bring Member States’ criminal legislation more closely into alignment and to improve European cooperation so as to combat more effectively counterfeiting and piracy, which are frequently committed by criminal organisations, often pose a risk to health and safety, and seriously harm the interests of many sectors in the European economy.

The arrangements will have to be applied to all types of intellectual property right infringements. In the directive, all intentional infringements of an intellectual property right on a commercial scale, including attempting, aiding and abetting such infringements, are treated as criminal offences. The minimum sentence is a term of four years’ imprisonment where the infringement is committed under the aegis of a criminal organisation or carries a serious risk to the health and safety of individuals. The amount of the fine will have to be at least EUR 100 000 or EUR 300 000 where there is a link with a criminal organisation or any risk to health and safety. Member States may impose heavier penalties or fines.
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Daewoo G2X – GM’s Korean version of the Saturn Sky Roadster

GM’s Korean subsidiary unveiled the G2X roadster at the Busan International Motor Show (April 28 until May 7). Besides the name, the G2X is identical to the Saturn Sky Roadster & the Opel GT Roadster.

Like its American brother, the two-seater G2X features a 177 horsepower, 2.4-liter engine. Equipped with a five-speed manual transmission, the G2X hopes to attract urban drivers in the 21-35 age bracket, a marketing official at the auto show said.

Pricing details were still being set and the model is expected to hit showrooms within months, according to Korean officials.

In South Korea, some analysts say GM Daewoo is on track to unseat Kia Motors Corp. as the nation's second-largest automaker. Last year, GM Daewoo sold 1.15 million vehicles at home and abroad, compared with 1.26 million units sold by Kia Motors.

On the back of such promising results, GM Daewoo announced in March it would rehire all of the 1,725 workers laid off by their former employer, the bankrupt Daewoo Motor Co., by the end of next month.

"The greatest achievement during GM Daewoo's short history is welcoming back all of the workers that our predecessor had to let go," said Rick Labelle, vice president of GM Daewoo's commercial operations.

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