(ATTN: UPDATES with details in paras 5-8; ADDS 1st photo)
SEOUL, July 19 (Yonhap) — GM Korea Co., the South Korean arm of General Motors Co., on Wednesday rolled out the upgraded Trailblazer compact SUV in South Korea to reinforce its product portfolio and increase sales.
The face-lifted Trailblazer is equipped with a 1.35-liter gasoline E-Turbo engine, the company said in a statement.
It is accessible in two trims — the front-wheel-drive version with the efficient VT40 continuously variable transmission and the four-wheel-drive one with a Hydramatic nine-speed automatic transmission.
The Trailblazer is available at the starting price of 27 million won (US$21,000), with the prices going up to 31 million won depending on options.
The Trailblazer shares the same platform with the Buick Encore GX small SUV. The Buick brand is part of the Detroit-based carmaker.
The Trailblazer is the Chevrolet brand’s flagship SUV in terms of the “sleek yet powerful” design, performance and dependability, GM Korea President and CEO Roberto Rampel said in a media showcase held at the House of GM in southern Seoul.
“Reliability is core for SUVs. These vehicles must be designed for tougher environments, off-road conditions, heavy loads, long trips and sometimes driving hundreds of miles without service assistance,” Rampel said.
“Creating a robust vehicle which customers feel confident about when driving in such environments is not optional. It is fundamental.”
From January to June, GM Korea’s sales jumped 75 percent to 214,306 units from 122,756 a year earlier. Domestic sales rose 8.2 percent on-year to 18,984 in the first six months, while exports jumped 86 percent to 195,322.
In a two-track strategy, GM Korea sells domestically produced and imported vehicles in Asia’s fourth-biggest economy.
Its lineup is composed of two locally assembled models, the Trailblazer SUV and the Trax Crossover, and six imported ones — the Colorado pickup, the Bolt all-electric car, and the Equinox, Traverse and Tahoe SUVs, as well as the GMC brand’s Sierra Denali pickup.
The Spark mini car, Trax compact SUV and the Malibu midsize sedan were part of the lineup, but the company stopped their production last year.
Most of the models currently sold in Korea are from the Chevrolet brand. The Cadillac brand models are available here as well.
GM Korea plans to add more GMC brand models to its lineup, depending on market demand.