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California | BRIEFLY / AUTOMOBILES

GM Pledges to Retain Daewoo Brands, Plants

May 11, 2000|Bloomberg News

General Motors Corp. pledged to keep Daewoo Motor Co. operating as a South Korean company and retain all its factories, as the world's largest auto maker tries to win support for its bid to take over the bankrupt firm. General Motors Chairman John F. Smith Jr. said at a news conference in Seoul that his company would also develop new-car models with Daewoo Motor aimed at Asian markets. Smith's effort to woo backers for his company's offer comes ahead of a June 28 deadline for submissions set by the bid organizing committee. GM is vying with four rivals to snap up South Korea's second-biggest car maker and gain entry into one of Asia's most closed auto markets. Smith's comments echo promises by Ford Motor Co. and other possible bidders in recent weeks, aimed at defusing opposition to a foreign takeover. Auto workers staged strikes last month to block the sale of Daewoo Motor to a foreign company. The unions fear such a takeover would soon be followed by big job cuts. General Motors shares, which fell $4.56 to close at $81.94 on the NYSE, have climbed 17% in the last 12 months.

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