Daewoo’s history is one of name and partner changes. The company was founded as National Motor in 1937 in Korea. In 1962, it changed its name to Saenara Motor. After a purchase by Shinjin Industrial in 1965, it became Shinjin Motor. Toyota was a collaborator with the company during this time until 1972. Shinjin then established links with General Motors, starting a joint venture called General Motors Korea, which built the Chevrolet 1700 and Opel Rekord. In 1976, it was renamed Saehan Motor. When the Daewoo Group gained control in 1982, it was renamed again to Daewoo Motor. Until 1996, Daewoo products were based on GM products—both the T- and V-cars developed by Opel were also built by Daewoo. It took over Ssangyong in 1998 but the group ran into trouble the following year. GM took over Daewoo Motors’ assets in 2001 to form GM Daewoo, but did not take over many of Daewoo’s operations in the former Soviet Union, nor did it purchase some of its domestic plants. Daewoo’s truck operations were purchased by Tata in 2004, and in 2005 GM increased its stake of GM Daewoo to over 50 per cent. In 2011, GM killed off the brand in favour of Chevrolet, a step that it had already taken for almost all of Daewoo’s export markets, though the Daewoo brand continued in various former Soviet Bloc countries such as Uzbekistan and Russia.
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