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Daewoo looks for joy from Tacuma sales

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##Tacuma--left##Daewoo Cars expects the new Tacuma, on sale now, will take its full-year UK sales to more than 50,000 next year. This year, with the success of the Matiz, Daewoo is on track for 42,000 sales.

Tacuma joins the burgeoning legion of compact MPVs launched this year as manufacturers worldwide try to catch up with the trend-setting Renault Megane Scenic.

Ford has delayed by at least a year its Focus-based compact MPV challenger while Daewoo, due to become part of the Ford empire next month, has been able to press ahead.

Tacuma, which is built on an all-new platform likely to form the base of other models, is predicted to reach 8,000 units next year. Most of these are expected to be new customers because the model is an addition to the range.

Graham Howes, head of fleet operations for Daewoo Cars in the UK, said: “There might be some Nubira customers who will take Tacuma instead, but most will be new for us.”

Daewoo hopes user-choosers - fleets account for 40% of UK sales - will be tempted by its traditional value for money package. Tacuma is priced £12,495 for the 1.8 SE and £13,495 for the 2.0 CDX.

“It will also be a good Motability vehicle for us,” added Mr Howes.

Tacuma was conceived in Korea three years ago, though much of the development work was done in Europe with help from Porsche, Italdesign (interior styling) and Pininfarina (exterior). The name is taken from an Afrikaan word meaning 'joyful lifestyle'.

Daewoo plans to develop Tacuma's entertainment system, based on the Sony PlayStation and available as an extra, for internet access and to allow e-mails to be sent and received.

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