Daewoo cars will not be sold here from the end of the year.

Holden yesterday said it was removing the brand from the market because of poor sales and it had told the 10 GM Daewoo dealers around the country.

Holden began selling GM Daewoo cars last year after the Korean company Daewoo was bought by General Motors at the end of 2002.

But in the last year it sold only 372 cars.

Holden Australia said on June 1 it was stopping sales of GM Daewoo there.

Holden New Zealand public affairs manager Aalbert van Ham said it had been difficult to establish the Korean brand here.

He said competition from other Korean and Japanese car companies was intense.

Daewoo's past might also have contributed to the public's reluctance to buy the brand. "It's had a chequered history."

Holden would ensure GM Daewoo owners received warranty attention and service from dealers.

The only GM Daewoo dealer not affiliated with Holden, A.R. Page in Nelson, said it was disappointing that the brand was being dropped.

Ken Page of the dealership said Daewoos were great cars.

He had hoped GM's purchase of the company last year would have given them more exposure and the chance to establish a toehold here. But poor sales meant it was not surprising Holden was taking them off the market.