In the 1980s, as the Kia Motors Bongo series recorded a big hit, the domestic one-box sublimation market began to grow rapidly. One-box vans are basically cars designed to be used for business, carrying people and cargo. It was also in the spotlight as a car.
In response to this increasing demand, Korean automakers introduced their own one-box van model in the late 80s. Hyundai Motor Company’s Grace, who dominated the market as soon as they appeared, Ssangyong Motor’s Istana, who stood out on their backs with technical support from German Mercedes-Benz, and Kia Pergio, a descendant of Bongo, who eventually took over the name for a while. Can be counted.
However, there is one question here. This is because the name of Daewoo Motors is not visible. This is because Daewoo Motors was one of the big three manufacturers in the domestic automobile industry at the time, and it had a considerable base not only in passenger cars but also in commercial vehicles.
Daewoo Motors, which laid a solid foundation in the large commercial vehicle sector, witnessed the growth of the small commercial vehicle market, and quickly launched small and medium-sized commercial vehicle models at the same time as Hyundai Motor Company. However, Daewoo Motors has struggled with small and medium-sized commercial vehicles. Daewoo Motors introduced not only 1-box vans but also semi-mid-sized trucks of 2.5 to 3.5 tons, but was not successful commercially due to poor response in the market. ‘Barnet’, which will be covered in this article, is one such failure.
Daewoo Motors, which witnessed the success of Kia Bongo and the growth of the small commercial vehicle market, launched a new small commercial vehicle in 1987 when the measures to integrate the automobile industry were lifted. This car is’Vanette’. Daewoo Motors’ Vanette is a model that licensed Nissan Motors’ second-generation Vanette, which competed with Hyundai Motor’s new one-box van Grace and Kia Bongo’s descendant Vesta.
This car, like Hyundai Grace and Kia Bongo, was licensed to a model of a Japanese car manufacturer. The prototype of Daewoo Barnet is the second-generation model of Barnet, a small commercial vehicle produced by Nissan Motors in Japan. Nissan’s second-generation barnet is characterized by its stylish exterior and interior that is close to a passenger sedan.
As for the exterior, it boasted an exterior design that is clearly differentiated from Grace, Bongo, and Vesta. In particular, the front part of the second-generation vanette type was characterized by a sleek and sleek shape and a car-style headlamp. In addition, the original Nissan Barnet had a different front part of the truck model and the van model, but Daewoo Barnet was more prominent by adopting the front part of the van model for both the truck and the van model. In addition, the door mirror of the style used in passenger cars was applied, while the coach model also provided a panoramic sunroof option that existed in the original Nissan Barnet.
In the case of interior design, the dashboard of a style similar to that of Nissan’s passenger sedan was adopted to greatly enhance convenience and achieve a more sophisticated atmosphere. On the other hand, in the case of the steering wheel, the Nissan Bannet was used in the early model, but the Le Mans steering wheel was applied in the later model. As for the shift lever and parking brake, the barnet’s column-change manual transmission and cable-type parking brake were used in the initial model, but from the later model, the shift lever was changed to a floor change method and the parking brake to a lever type. There were 9 and 12 seats in a 3-3-3 arrangement.
There was another difference between Daewoo Barnet and Nissan Barnet. It is the engine. Daewoo Motor’s Vannet did not use Nissan’s LD20 diesel engine, but used a 2.2 liter diesel engine produced under a separate license from Isuzu, Japan, which had a link with GM. However, using this engine was a fatal mistake by Daewoo Motors. This is because it did not match well with Barnet’s engine room structure and transmission. For this reason, the barnet produced by Daewoo Motors, unlike its stylish appearance, was very noise and vibration, and performance and fuel economy were also poor.
There was also a problem with product composition. At that time, the domestic van market tended to put more emphasis on the number of passengers, and for that reason, ’12-seater’ was common sense. On the other hand, the 9-seater was relatively unpopular. However, when Daewoo Motors launched the barnet, the 9-seater model was the standard specification. This could only be seen as failing to properly catch the demands of the market at the time.
Daewoo Motors’ Barnet produced not only van models, but also truck models. But there was a problem here too. At that time, the’Super Cab’ model, which was considered essential in the domestic commercial vehicle market, did not exist. The super cab is a cab with an extended rear side compared to the standard cab, and although you have to bear some damage in the loading space, the interior space is wider, greatly improving the driver’s convenience. For this reason, in small commercial vehicles mainly operated by private business owners, the super cap is the preferred method.
However, Barnett did not change the body structure of Nissan Barnett, which did not have a supercap option at the time. It can be said that the porter of Hyundai Motors drastically changed the design of the original Mitsubishi Delica truck model to create a supercap model and gained great popularity. Even the double-cap model, which was in great demand, did not exist. Even in terms of price, there wasn’t much better than rivals.
Not only was there a mechanical problem, but due to poor market response, Daewoo Barnett was discontinued in 1992, five years after its launch, with only a few sold. Daewoo Barnett received poor reviews in the demanding commercial vehicle market and became a commercially unsuccessful vehicle.
Written. Reporter Park Byung-ha