April 9, 2018 / 9:49 AM / a year ago

GM Korea says it may drop Spark, replace with crossover

The logo of GM Korea is seen at its Bupyeong plant in Incheon, South Korea March 29, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

SEOUL (Reuters) - General Motors Co’s (GM.N) South Korean unit said on Monday it may discontinue its Spark mini car and replace it with a crossover, on falling demand in key U.S. market.

Sales for the Spark slumped 36 percent to 22,589 units in the United States last year.

The production plan for the new crossover is dependent on support from the South Korean government and concessions for its local union, a GM Korea spokesman said. The new model is tapped for production in 2022.

General Motors had said in February it plans to shut down one of its factories in South Korea, and was rethinking the operational viability of three other plants in the country.

The move also comes as sales of GM’s Opel brand in Europe might put a dent on the demand for Spark, which is being exported to Europe as Opel’s Karl.

Opel earlier said it will shift production from South Korea to Europe and import nearly 200,000 less vehicles per year from South Korea by 2020.

Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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