The marque: Troubled Korean car giant recently rescued from scandalous oblivion.

The history: Daewoo burst on to the British car market in 1994, selling cheap cars rehashed from old General Motors designs through its own outlets. No discounts, no hard sell, servicing at Halfords, free servicing and even a free mobile phone. The mainstream motor trade hated it, and values of used Daewoos that slipped outside the network were laughable. That has changed, with cars largely of Daewoo's design sold through regular dealers, but the background has been turbulent. First, though, some deeper history. Korea's first carmaker, the National Motor Company, started in 1937. It forged a technical deal with Toyota in 1965, as the Shinjin Motor Company, then in 1972 formed a joint venture with General Motors. It adopted the Daewoo Motor name in 1983. Later, having separated itself from GM, it set itself the target of becoming a world top 10 carmaker. Daewoo set up plants all over the world, and bought the IAD design consultancy in Worthing. The designs got more daring: the Bucrane concept car, styled by Ital Design, is rumoured to have been the design base for the Maserati Coupé, then the Far Eastern financial crisis brought Daewoo down, striking workers fought with police and it got messy. Daewoo Motor was for sale, and Ford was interested until it analysed the accounts. The chairman was accused of fraud, Ford got cold feet and GM was the new owner. With Daewoo, loss-making Saab and an obligation to rescue Fiat, GM's hands are full.

Defining model: Hmm, difficult. Probably the tidy Matiz supermini, for which there is even an owners' club.

They say: We're the biggest car company you've never heard of.

We say: Rescued by the biggest car company you've ever heard of.

Search for used cars