Newly named GM Korea President and CEO Sergio Rocha unveils the much-anticipated Chevrolet Corvette coupe to 300 members of the local media at the Shilla Hotel in Seoul today.
The iconic sports car, which goes on sale in Korea May 4 and will be offered in three colors – red, silver and yellow, will be equipped with a 6.2L V-8 engine that delivers 430 hp at 5,800 rpm.
“The Corvette is an exceptional product that no other Korean manufacturer can match,” Rocha says. “As the most exciting Chevrolet product, the Corvette coupe will raise the bar for the brand and broaden our base of Chevrolet customers in Korea.”
Rocha discloses GM Korea is increasing its 2012 capital investment for equipment and research and development 50% to 1.25 trillion won ($1.1 billion), with the goal of improving productivity and growing the business.
The Chevrolet coupe will be priced for the local market at 86.4 million won ($76,400), compared with a similarly equipped model that stickers for $50,000 to $60,000 in the U.S. A full-leather interior is offered for an additional 3 million won ($2,600), bringing the price to 89.4 million won ($79,000).
However, the price is competitive for the segment in Korea, a GM Korea spokesman says. “We compete against the Porsche 911 and the BMW G4, both of which cost from 100 million won to 120 million won ($80,000 to $106,000).
“The Corvette is a major contender as we expand into the luxury-sports segment, which is a new segment for us and brings us together with new customers,” the spokesman tells Wards. “This is our major product launch of the year. The Korean enthusiasts are very happy to see an American sports car launched in Korea at a very competitive price."
The Corvette coupe will be the second vehicle to be imported from North America by GM Korea for the local market. The auto maker in March launched sales of the Chevrolet Camaro, which is produced at the Oshawa, ON, Canada.
GM Korea has sold 80 Camaros since then. While a low number, it meets the company’s target.
The Chevrolet Corvette will play the role of our iconic flagship, and we expect the same number of sales," the spokesman says. “We will begin selling (the car) at 12 dealerships in various parts of Korea on May 4. There will be Corvettes on the showroom floor in all of them.”
While there is no formal driver-training program as yet, the spokesman says car buyers who request assistance in learning to drive the high-performance vehicle will get it. It may even be possible for somebody from the Chevrolet Racing Team in Korea to provide vehicle handling instructions, the spokesman says.