GM sales are back on track thanks to new models

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GM sales are back on track thanks to new models

GM Korea, the local unit of the U.S. auto giant, is expected to report domestic vehicle sales exceeding 10,000 units this month in a sign that it is on track to recovery, industry sources said Friday.

GM Korea sold 7,670 vehicles in the local market in May, up 43 percent from a month earlier, driven by robust sales of its Malibu midsize sedan and the new Spark minicar.

In June, the company also expects to sell over 10,000 units domestically given that it has sold 3,000 units in the first 10 days. In the January-May period, its overall sales were weak at 199,840 units, down 15 percent from 235,306 a year earlier.

To boost sales, GM Korea began to sell the U.S.-built Chevrolet Equinox sport-utility vehicle this month, with the Chevy Traverse SUV set to be launched in the near future.

The company aims to turn around next year by beefing up its lineup with SUV models, GM Korea President and Chief Executive Kaher Kazem said at the Busan motor show this month.

Last month, GM and the state-run Korea Development Bank (KDB), the two biggest shareholders in GM Korea, signed an agreement that will permit a combined 7.7-trillion-won ($7 billion) lifeline - 6.9 trillion won from GM and 810 billion won from the KDB - to keep the Korean unit afloat.

Under the binding deal, GM Korea plans to launch 15 new or face-lifted vehicles, including two global products that will be allocated to GM’s Korean plants, in the domestic market in the next five years. This month, the upgraded Spark and the Equinox were launched.

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