General Motors plans to sell Daewoo cars in Europe with Chevrolet nameplates as part of its campaign to make Chevrolet a global brand, an industry source told Reuters on Tuesday.

“Indeed GM is going to build Chevrolet into a worldwide brand,” the source reportedly said, adding that part of the Daewoo product line would be marketed as Chevrolets in Europe, while South Korea’s Daewoo would focus on its domestic market.

The switch is expected to happen in 2005, the report said.

GM markets the Russian-built Niva offroader as a Chevrolet, and other models such as the Opel Meriva minivan built in South Africa would also join the fold, the source said, according to the report.

A number of European-designed Opel products are already sold in South America  as Chevrolet model lines. In South Africa, the Opels, including the Meriva minivan, are badged Opel but a number of Daewoo and Holden models are rebadged as Chevrolet lines.

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Reuters noted that GM owns 42.1% of GM Daewoo Auto and Technology Co., while Suzuki owns 14.9%, Shanghai Automotives Industry Corp. 10% and Daewoo creditors one third.

Daewoo vehicles are marketed with both Suzuki and Chevrolet nameplates in North America.

Reuters said GM Daewoo sold 115,600 cars and light commercial vehicles in western Europe last year and another 16,700 in central Europe.

A GM Europe spokesman declined to comment to the news agency on the report, other than to say an announcement would be made at the Paris motor show next month.

The switch would mean a substantial re-branding project for GM in Europe. A number of new Daewoo models such as the Kalos supermini (Chevrolet Aveo in the US and South Africa; Suzuki Swift+ in Canada), the Lacetti compact and the Nubira sedan (sold as a Chevrolet in China, South Africa and India and as the Suzuki Forenza in the US) have been launched recently under the South Korean maker’s nameplate.

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