Archive for March, 2015

Daewoo Leganza

Daewoo Leganza

They say in order to sell a product you have to put it into customer’s hands. Similarly in order to sell a car you have to put consumer behind its wheel. At least that was the idea when Korean automaker Daewoo Motors brought a line of reasonably priced vehicles to sell in United States. Three different models; Lanos, Nubira and Leganza were introduced to a saturated American auto market in 1997.

The marketing idea was simple and seemed brilliant on paper. Daewoo would give anybody a vehicle to test drive for 90 days for free. You could either buy the car or give it back at the end of 90 day test drive period. The idea was that once you are driving this car it becomes yours and you will find a way to keep it. It really sounded like a fantastic and innovative idea at a time. My nephew who was attending Moorpark City College bought his first new car, pewter Daewoo Leganza like that.

In fact a great number of students signed up for test drive. Unfortunately not all good ideas work in real life. Technically not being responsible for their vehicles for the first 90 days kids thrashed their vehicle within first thirty days. Many first time drivers who were able to get the car that way got in accidents and a great number of youngsters just thrashed their vehicles and then returned them. In short this brilliant market plan was a complete disaster.

Five years later Daewoo Motors disappeared from American auto market. This morning I saw beige, 2000 Daewoo Leganza with fading paint job at my mechanic’s shop in Pasadena. I haven’t seen on the road in years. “It’s a piece of crap,” complained Mike:” You can’t get any original parts for it.” That’s a fact unless you have connections in Korea.

Not all Korean automobiles are crap. Two other major automakers from Korea, Hyundai and Kia have been enjoying ascending popularity in the American Auto market as of late. But Daewoo was just one of those ideas that never materialized in United States.

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