A new free trade agreement between the United States and Korea means that 2012 Corvettes will be on sale for the first time in Korea, beginning on May 4.
General Motors’ South Korean branch – GM Korea Co. – announced the decision today after the import tax for American-made vehicles was cut in half to 4 percent thanks to a free trade agreement between the U.S. and Korea which took effect in March.
The Corvette Coupe won’t come cheaply for Koreans, with the base price starting at 86.4 million won or some $76,300 – more than 50 percent higher than the cost in the United States.
That’s still a bargain compared to the Porsche 911, which costs 126 million to 145 million won in Korea, and similar to the BMW Z4, which retails for 80 million to 96 million won.
The Corvette becomes the ninth Chevrolet model offered by GM Korea, which has introduced seven South Korean-made models and a Canadian-made model since last year. Those models include the seven-seat Orlando sport-utility vehicle, the Camaro sports car, the Captiva SUV, the five-seat Aveo hatchback, and the Cruze hatchback.
“The Corvette Coupe will raise the bar for the brand and products and broaden our base of Chevrolet customers in Korea,” GM Korea Chief Executive Sergio Rocha said.
GM Korea dumped the Daewood brand name in 2011 and switched to the Chevrolet name in South Korea as part of GM’s rebranding strategy. South Korea is GM’s manufacturing base for mini and small vehicles, and GM Korea will export vehicles to the U.S. for the first time, the 1-liter Chevrolet Spark manufactured at its Changwon plant.
GM Korea sold 206,173 vehicles in South Korea from January to March, up 8.0 percent from last year.
In 2011, the company’s sales in South Korea rose 7.6 percent to 808,309 vehicles, giving it an 8.9 percent market share, up from 8.1 percent in 2010.