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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 December, 2003, 07:43 GMT
GM eyes S Korean car manufacturer
GM car
Carmakers are hoping to stop a slid in US and European sales
US car giant General Motors has said it is interested in buying South Korean producer Ssangyong Motor to tap into fast-growing Asian markets.

The world's largest carmaker may have to battle rivals from countries including China, France and India.

Demand in Asia, and especially China, is increasing as economic growth picks up and wages and living standards rise.

GM is looking for new markets because sales in the US and Europe are sliding and it has to offer buyers incentives.


Almost 56% of Ssangyong has been put up for sale by creditors after the collapse of parent company Daewoo Group.

The stake is worth about $625m, based on Wednesday's closing share price.

The closing date for offers is 11 December.

GM, which last year set up a Korean division, has been looking for ways to boost revenue at its car making business.

Japanese rivals have eaten into its market share at home, while aggressive sales incentives, such as interest free credit, have dented profit.

In the third quarter, GM made more money from selling financial products and insurance than cars.

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