General Motors is desperate for more small cars in its line-up, but instead of looking to Opel, its European arm, the company has decided to base its entire range of small cars on Daewoo platforms. GM should be ashamed for not having a proper small car strategy in place, something that almost every other car maker is doing on its own. The first of GM’s new vehicles will be the successor of the Matiz minicar due in 2009, which is expected to be larger than the current model.

Korean cars have stepped up in terms of quality and reliability over the years, but financially strapped Daewoo is still producing awful cars. Despite GM’s dire situation, the company is likely to add to its woes by adding cars based on Daewoo platforms to its range. GM has experimented with the Australian market, where its subsidiary Holden has replaced most of its fleet with Korean built cars that lag their European counterparts in terms of quality and safety.

The new cars will feature engines displacing less than 1L and should be developed within the next two to five years. GM Group sales in the minicar segment are expected to grow to 400,000 units annually and are likely to spur on the other manufacturers to develop smaller vehicles to enter the burgeoning segment.