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Small sedan made a big contribution to Daewoo Motor Co.

BLAST FROM THE PAST– 11 Maepsy

Dec 14,2009
The technology used to develop the Saehan Motor Maepsy laid the groundwork for the development of more sophisticated vehicles.[JoongAng Ilbo]
The Maepsy was an unremarkable car, and it never gained wide popularity in the Korean market. However, the technology developed to produce the vehicle contributed to the rise of the Daewoo Motor Company.

The vehicle was initially produced by the Saehan Motor Company, which was the precursor to Daewoo Motor. The Maepsy, a small sedan that was sold between 1982 and 1989, was developed to replace the Saehan Gemini, which saw a drop in sales following the appearance of the Hyundai Motor Pony. The vehicle design was based on that of the Gemini, which itself was a variation on the Kadett, by German automaker Opel. It became competitive because it was one of the few cars of its time with an automatic transmission system. Still, it failed to gain much ground in the Korean market due to the Pony’s continued popularity.

However, the technology used to make the Maepsy would later enable Saehan’s successor Daewoo Motor to make significant gains in the Korean auto industry, and the automaker eventually became competitive enough to threaten its rival, Hyundai Motor. Saehan became Daewoo Motor a year after the Maepsy was launched in Korea.

The first Maepsy was introduced in March 1982. It came in two versions: the 1500 and the 1300. The 1500 model had an engine displacement of 1492 cc and an 84 horsepower. The vehicle had a maximum speed of 150 kilometers per hour (93 miles per hour) with manual transmission and a maximum speed of 140 kilometers per hour with automatic transmission.

The 1300 model had an engine displacement of 1272 cc and ran on liquefied petroleum gas. It had a horsepower of 76 and a maximum speed of 151 kilometers per hour.

Both models had a “kick-down” system, which allowed the vehicle to attain higher speeds.

In 1984, the automaker developed its own engine, the XO Engine, for the next generation of the Maepsy, which it called the Maepsyna. Roughly 400,000 units of the Maepsy and the Maepsyna were manufactured between 1982 and 1989. The vehicle was later replaced by the LeMans.


By Lee Ho-jeong



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