GM has confirmed that it will sell cars in North America made by its South Korean subsidiary, GM Daewoo Automotive & Technology Co (GMDAT) from 2004. Cars will be shipped from its South Korean plants to be sold in the US and Canadian markets under the Chevrolet and Suzuki brands.

The moves follows reports that GM is planning a major product investment in its smaller cars to shore up its bottom line and fend off competition from European and Asian makers. It has been estimated that GM's entry level models have been generating losses as high as $1 billion a year in recent years.

GM used the Chicago show to announce and show the line-up additions. The Daewoo Kalos supermini will be re-badged as the Chevrolet Aveo and will go on sale early in 2004 with prices ranging from $10,000 to $15,000. Prices for the brand's lowest-priced model today, the Chevrolet Cavalier, start at about $14,000.

GM said that the car would be aimed at younger and more urban areas of the market than is traditionally served by Chevrolet. Chevrolet expects to sell about 70,000 Aveos annually in the US.

Styled by ItalDesign, the Chevrolet Aveo will feature a 105-horsepower 1.6 litre 4-cylinder engine and will be targeted against value-driven imports like the Hyundai Accent, Kia Rio and Toyota Echo.

Suzuki Motor Corp. will sell the larger Daewoo Lacetti (Nubira in Europe) as the Suzuki Forenza and the L6 Magnus as the Verona. Suzuki will offer the midsize Verona at $16,000 to $19,000 and the Forenza from $12,000 to $15,000. Suzuki expects to sell 25,000 units annually of the Verona and 45,000 of the Forenza.