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Old 6th April 2012, 13:59   #16
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Default Re: Visit to Daewoo Motors (Argentum) plant, Surajpur, UP: a Chronicle in Pictures

My eyes filled up reading this and looking at those pictures. I remember going to the Avenue Regent Hotel with my father in Cochin to see the Daewoo Cielo that was put up on display. It was some car for its time and I doubt if it will be out of place even in today's crowded car market. It was a beautiful car.

They had a, interesting for its time television commercial for the automatic Cielo where they used to show two sides of your brain being used for something or the other. It is funny when you see that advert now.

Both cars were excellent and high on technology. I still remember reading in Overdrive or Auto India about the Matiz having the best air conditioner in a dedicated test of air conditioning in all cars. The Suzuki Baleno followed if I recall correctly. The Matiz was also known for excellent fuel economy though I recall my uncle not having a very good experience. There was a flawed batch of Matiz cars that were not efficient. Users reported mileage as low as 9kmpl which is what the Cielo used to give. Daewoo never really cared and I guess it was during the time the company was going to shut shop.

I have good memories of the Matiz. When a colleague was relocating, I drove his second hand Matiz from Bangalore to Bombay in 19 hours and this was in 2004. Before we had any roads. There were roads in Maharashtra but not in Karnataka. I recall nearly losing control of the little Matiz in the Nippani ghat section when I was speeding down hill. It could barely move when you had the air conditioning running.

I would rate the quality of the Cielo, Nexia and Matiz better than today's Fiat, Tata & Toyota India's budget cars. Heck; they had better interiors than the Honda Brio and Toyota Etios. The Etios interiors look outdated if you were to compare it to the Nexia.

I pray and hope some life is put back into those engines. At least put it in the Premier Rio.

Last edited by sandeepmohan : 6th April 2012 at 14:03.
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Old 6th April 2012, 14:09   #17
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Default Re: Visit to Daewoo Motors (Argentum) plant, Surajpur, UP: a Chronicle in Pictures

Felt sad looking through the pictures, especially those half-finished shells lying outside. I had a matiz for 5 years, and it was really good compared to today's crop of small cars.

sid, hats off to you man!!
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Old 6th April 2012, 14:13   #18
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Default Re: Visit to Daewoo Motors (Argentum) plant, Surajpur, UP: a Chronicle in Pictures

Sid, that was like a sad poetry in pictures. Hoping someone saves that facility. Great work nonetheless.
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Old 6th April 2012, 14:27   #19
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Exclamation Re: Visit to Daewoo Motors (Argentum) plant, Surajpur, UP: a Chronicle in Pictures

That was like a flashback. Nice narrative and pics; you can actually feel the sadness in the atmosphere in the factory. Regarding the unpacked engines and parts, can the company not take it back and utilize them in any way?

It's a pity to see that these things don't have any future in them. Would they be scrapped? How sad!
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Old 6th April 2012, 15:05   #20
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Default Re: Visit to Daewoo Motors (Argentum) plant, Surajpur, UP: a Chronicle in Pictures

What a colossal waste. When GM took over Daewoo, didnt they take hold of this property?
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Old 6th April 2012, 15:31   #21
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Default Re: Visit to Daewoo Motors (Argentum) plant, Surajpur, UP: a Chronicle in Pictures

Reading this thread was like watching a Freedom struggle movie for me. Tears almost rolled down my cheeks, I swear! Sid, you definitely have to take a bow for this thread. I am not finding words to express my feelings for this thread and for Daewoo Motors, enough. It is definitely a huge waste of time, material and money that they had invested in India. Hope it springs back to life soon.

Couldn't a newcomer or come-back-maker (like FIAT) into the Indian auto industry have capitalized on this infrastructure and make modifications to it to start producing cars? It should have for sure saved a lot of money for them comparing to what they have invested in setting up a plant!!!

Rating it a well deserved 5-Star!!
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Old 6th April 2012, 16:03   #22
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Default Re: Visit to Daewoo Motors (Argentum) plant, Surajpur, UP: a Chronicle in Pictures

Phew, cant imagine the investment that could have gone into all this.
Also cannot imagine that all those are still lying there without anyone making any use of it. Can't we recycle and make millions out of all that?
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Old 6th April 2012, 16:09   #23
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Default Re: Visit to Daewoo Motors (Argentum) plant, Surajpur, UP: a chronicle in pictures

Yes, I was so calm in reading the entire story(History).
I also recollected my wish to buy a Matiz at that time.

I could see some memories of the brand and I recollected some news that spread by Sun News saying many of the Cielo cars are getting fire. That was largely rumoured that its to popularise the minor stake owned by Karunanithi and family - I know its not true.

Thanks a ton sidindica for bringing out these exclusive pics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sidindica View Post
The engine and transaxle shop

Now this is where the real excitement begins. Every machine, every tooling is in great working condition. This plant is H-U-G-E. Around 15 people are employed who take care of the entire machinery and generators which supply power to run its machines. ....
It seems that, the shops are closed after a week end and never opened.
If the factory was in slow closing stage, why is the stocks not cleared?
Also when GM took over Daewoo, did it not include the assets of Daewoo worldwide?
Also what is the back up arrangement for Argentum motors to use these machines. Cant they sell this old stocks to make some dumped money?
or anything else is planned?
Most importantly why they manned now to operate some machines alone and what is the purpose?
Kinldy throw some light.
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Old 6th April 2012, 16:15   #24
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Default Re: Visit to Daewoo Motors (Argentum) plant, Surajpur, UP: a Chronicle in Pictures

That was an excellent thread Sid, rated 5 stars! So sent me into a low seeing such a great manufacturing facility lying desolate for years together. A manufacturing unit having facility to machine con rods and assemble gearboxes shows how much Daewoo has invested in this Engine plant and has banked on Indian market at that time. Should be its biggest engine facility I believe.

The then-technology-rich engines themselves speak how they excelled in the designing and making of class-leading powertrains. 1.5 90 PS and 1.6 110 PS figures are even today's killer engines!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sidindica View Post

The engine line was told to be flexible.
By this Sid, you mean all the engines are assembled on the same line?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sidindica View Post

Like a friend of mine quotes " each part of the plant cries to meet the other and become a car!".
What a line! Gave me goosebumps.
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Old 6th April 2012, 16:23   #25
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Default Re: Visit to Daewoo Motors (Argentum) plant, Surajpur, UP: a Chronicle in Pictures

Thanks a ton @sidindica for taking all the pains to bring this story & pictures to us. You are one gem of a person.

Its very painful to see all the unused parts & brand new packed engines just eating dust. Looks like it all happened suddenly in the middle of everything.

I wish some or the other manufacturer takes up this facility & starts this plant again. In fact I am stunned to know that none of the brands took this up even after such a boom in automobile scene in India
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Old 6th April 2012, 16:35   #26
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Default Re: Visit to Daewoo Motors (Argentum) plant, Surajpur, UP: a Chronicle in Pictures

Sid,

This thread is a masterpiece! Man, I got goosebumps from seeing that factory full of parts & machinery, yet empty. As if the pictures weren't enough, your emotional write-up touches a nerve. The Matiz body-in-white really did me in. Two Koreans entered India in the nineties; their fate couldn't have been any more different. While Hyundai emerged far more successful, Daewoo was equally aggressive. Too bad that the management & financial crisis sealed the company's fate.

I'm surprised no one has bothered to pick this plant up, especially since so many new brands have entered the market since. GM might have excess capacity on its hands, else it would have been the most logical buyer for the Surajpur facility. Or maybe then, Subbu just had his own plans at the time.

Thanks for documenting what is a very important part of Indian automotive history.
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Old 6th April 2012, 16:36   #27
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Default Re: Visit to Daewoo Motors (Argentum) plant, Surajpur, UP: a Chronicle in Pictures

Pretty depressing material :( Had to read with a stone heart.

Wonderfully captured; in photos and writing. And indeed, as you quote, words fail to describe what we see in there.

I doubt if the machines will be put to use again as every assembly line is manufacturer specific. The press shop machines might be of use.
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Old 6th April 2012, 17:09   #28
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Default Re: Visit to Daewoo Motors (Argentum) plant, Surajpur, UP: a Chronicle in Pictures

Hi Sid,

Very Very good thread. Rated thread *****.
The Cielo's interiors would give a luxurious feeling every time in those days. Thanks for your efforts and time to compile this report.

Cheers
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Old 6th April 2012, 17:14   #29
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Default Re: Visit to Daewoo Motors (Argentum) plant, Surajpur, UP: a Chronicle in Pictures

Ohhh Man, sad scene indeed. Sure must have been something when it was operational. i recall going through the Jawa Yezdi plant in Mysore somewhere on the net.
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Old 6th April 2012, 17:26   #30
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Default Re: Visit to Daewoo Motors (Argentum) plant, Surajpur, UP: a Chronicle in Pictures

Having gone thru' the experience of closing down my own factory in 1997 end & the subsequent troubles in disposing off the machines & assets, the report brings back old unpleasant memories. And believe me it is very difficult ot maintain non operating machinery on a shoestring budget.

The Surajpur plant is actually a national asset. It is unfortunate that the liquidation process in India takes so long. The same thing in USA would have been completed within 9-14 months & the assets put to productive use. That is also a reason why they became such a rich country - no wastage due to time factors.
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