GM Daewoo Auto & Technology (GM Daewoo) sold a record 507,910 vehicles in the first half of 2005.

The Incheon-based automaker's sales rose 17.7% on an annual basis, taking first-half sales past the 500,000-unit mark for the first time since the company's establishment in 2002.

GM Daewoo launched the third generation of the Matiz mini-car in February. Its first large car, the Statesman imported from GM Holden in Australia, went on sale in South Korea in June. GM Daewoo also launched a new member of its Lacetti intermediate car family, the Lacetti 1.6 Platinum.

Total exports of GM Daewoo vehicles - most now badged Chevrolet - grew 19.6% on an annual basis to 454,472 units.

Exports of complete vehicles rose 10.6% to 244,654 units, while exports of knockdown (KD) kits increased 32.1% to 209,818 units.

Sold in many markets as the Chevrolet Aveo, the Kalos is GM Daewoo's top-selling vehicle.

GM Daewoo's domestic sales in the first half rose 3.5% to 53,438 units. The increase was attributed primarily to the Matiz, whose sales have remained brisk throughout the year. GM Daewoo also received a boost from fleet sales and the expansion of its nationwide network of test-drive centres.

On a monthly basis, GM Daewoo sold 94,727 vehicles in June, an increase of 22.8% from the same month last year.

Exports in June were up 23.5% from the same month last year to 85,371 units, led by a 9% increase in exports of finished vehicles to 41,120 units and a 41% increase in exports of KD kits to 44,251 units. Domestic sales rose 16.3% from June 2004 to 9,356 units.

"GM Daewoo will benefit in the second half from the entry into new markets such as Australia and New Zealand and the introduction of new models including a successor to the Kalos notchback [sedan]. In addition, we expect the Korean market to gain momentum after a protracted period of flat sales," CEO Nick Reilly said.

"As a result, GM Daewoo remains on track to achieve its long-term goal of selling more than a million vehicles in 2005." The company sold "more than" 900,000 units last year.

In addition to expanding its product lineup, GM Daewoo also has continued expanding its facilities and growing its presence in Korea. It has begun construction of its new diesel engine plant in Gunsan, which is scheduled to start production of a new family of Euro IV-compliant 1.5-litre and 2.0-litre common rail diesel engines early next year. It also will construct an automotive test track as a vehicle proving ground in Incheon that will be completed and ready to begin operation in mid-2007.

GM Daewoo Auto & Technology has five manufacturing facilities in Korea as well as an assembly facility in Vietnam. Its vehicles are also assembled at GM facilities in China, Thailand, India, Colombia and Venezuela.