Although Daewoo Motors is not actively making vehicles, older models can still be purchased for reasonable prices. Keep reading to learn about the history of the company, past models, and more.

How the Company Got Started

Founded in 1937, Daewoo Motors began as the “National Motor” company. In 1962, the company changed their name to “Saenara Motors” after another shift in ownership. From their beginning, the company was known as the first auto company in South Korea thanks to legislation passed by the national government. After this, there were several other name changes to the company before they finally settled on one. The name Daewoo Motors didn’t come to fruition until 1982, when the Daewoo Group took control of the company. In Korean, Daewoo means “the great universe.”

Most of the cars created by the Daewoo group were created in the image of General Motors vehicles. Because South Korea and the United States have always had similar trends in the automotive industry, the company wanted the cars to have a unique and modernized look.

Despite their efforts to save the company, most of their company was sold to General Motors. In 2011, after more financial difficulty, the company officially let go of the “Daewoo” influence and rebranded as “GM Korea”. All Daewoo vehicles were either rebranded as other vehicles or production was stopped on them altogether.

The Logo

Daewoo Logo History

The Daewoo logo has had three completely separate identities, each symbolizing a different stage for the company. The main part of the logo is meant to symbolize a seashell; the resemblance can be seen by the curved bottom and lines that point inward. In 1967, the color scheme was blue, which was still present on marketing materials up until 1994. In some cases, the logo can still be seen today if Daewoo is mentioned. In 1994, the logo was changed completely to a solid black color scheme and a new, more futuristic font. This logo went with the times, as the company was trying to be more progressive and innovative. The last logo that Daewoo embodied had a navy blue and chrome color scheme, but still remained true to its origins by featuring the seashell shape.


Looking at Daewoo sales means looking at numbers from many different brands. Because the company has transferred ownership so many times, it has rebranded and changed the scope of what it sells as well. The Daewoo brand was only available in the United States from 1997-2002. During this time, sales were very high. According to CarSalesBase, the company sold 70,000 units in its third year of business (2000). Some of the highest-selling models were the Lanos, the Leganza, and the Nubira.

However, after Daewoo was discontinued in the U.S., their vehicles continued to be sold by other companies. Eventually, when the company went bankrupt, companies like Suzuki began to sell them too. However, they did not have any success with the vehicles – leading to the downfall of that brand as well.

In Europe, the Lanos and the Leganza were the models that topped the sales chart. The brand was quite successful there too, especially during the late 1990s, and the early 2000s. Daewoo cars were pulled from the market around the same time that they were pulled from the American market.

Popular Models

Daewoo had many vehicles that were beloved by their customers. Here are some of the consumer favorites:


Avg Asking Price



Used: $326-$1,861

The Nubira was sold from 1997-2002 in the European market. It was available in three versions: a 4-door sedan, a 5-door hatchback, and a 5-door station wagon. It is considered a compact car.

Used: $244-$2,178

The Leganza was sold in the United Kingdom, the United States, and other European countries. It is a mid-size sedan that features many state-of-the-art features like four-wheel drive and a v100 platform. 

Used: $1,492-$2,626

The Matiz was an extremely popular model for Daewoo. It is a small, 5-door hatchback and was known as a “city car.” Because of this, it was extremely popular in countries with narrow roads such as Italy. The first model was released in 1998 and lasted until 2000. It has been rebranded several times and can now be easily recognized as the Chevy Spark.

Used: $1,725-$2,542

The Lacetti was originally released in 2002 as a family car. It was available in two options, a four-door sedan and a five-door station wagon. It was rebranded as the Suzuki Forenza for the American market and Chevy Nubira for the European market. However, once these models were discontinued, the model was rebranded as the GM Uzbekistan – a model that is still in production today.

Used: $207-$1,545

The Lanos was one of Daewoo’s most popular vehicles. It was a 3-door hatchback that was created to fill a need in the automotive market for a subcompact car. Because of its success, it was also redesigned several times. It features a front engine and front wheel drive.

Geographic Popularity

Although the company filed for bankruptcy in 2002, Daewoo vehicles were popular during the late 90s and early 2000s. Having a lot to do with affordability and versatility, the cars were easy to purchase and drive for people around the world. However, they were not the most reliable cars. As the models were thrust onto Suzuki to sell after the company went bankrupt, some of the models’ dependability was called into question. Although this is not the news that any company wants to hear, the models have been rebranded and recreated for bigger name brands such as Chevrolet. In fact, most of the Daewoo models are now recognizable as Chevy cars. Chevy was introduced to the European market in 2005, where it took off and excelled. Chevy has always been a popular brand in the United States and other North American countries.


During its prime in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Daewoo was known as a brand that promoted sustainability. An article from 2001 called the company the “most eco-friendly car maker in India.” They were rated ahead of other, larger companies such as Hyundai and Mercedes-Benz.


Because Daewoo cars were mainly manufactured during a time where safety was not as advanced as it is now, their models do not have some of the features that other notable car brands do. However, they were known for having extremely strong front-impact airbags. They were meant to protect a person’s head in the event of a crash.

Looking to Sell a Daewoo for Cash?

After learning all about how valuable Daewoo cars are, are you looking to sell your old one? If so, let us help you. Zippy Cash for Cars can help you get the best value for your money with our services, leaving you with enough funds to purchase a brand new Daewoo with ease. For more information on how to sell your Daewoo with us, contact us here.

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