The Saehan Motor Company was a South-Korean car maker founded in 1976, part of the Saehan Corporations, which was born on the collaboration of Shinjin Industrial Company and the will of General Motors to introduce their products on the South Korean market. Saehan was born on the former General Motors Korea, which encountered difficulties when the South-Korean market collapsed, following the first round of oil rises in 1973. This joint-venture, 50-50 between GM and Shinjin, consisted on a car assembly plant in Bupyong, a truck assembly plant in Pusan and a foundry at Inchon. In 1976, Shinjin Motors faced financial problems and sold its 50% stake in Saehan to the Korea Development Bank (KDB). In 1978, the Daewoo Group acquired the equity stake and management rights from KDB. The company was renamed Daewoo Motor Co. in 1983.
The company was first established as National Motor in 1937 in Bupyeong-gu, Incheon, South Korea. The name was changed to Saenara Motor in November 1962. Saenara was assembling and selling Datsun Bluebird P310s. Very first automobile company in Korea, Saenara was equipped with modern assembly facilities, and was established after the Automobile Industry Promotion Policy was announced by the South Korean government in 1962. Saenara Motor was then bought by Shinjin Industrial in 1965, which changed its name to Shinjin Motor after establishing collaborations with Toyota. Shinjin range included various Toyota models, such as the Publica, T40 Corona and Crown.
After Toyota's withdrawal in 1972, Shinjin Motor started a joint venture with General Motors under the name General Motors Korea (GMK), but was renamed again in 1976 to Saehan Motor. GMK shortly sold their Rekord under the GMK marque, together with the Holden Torana based Chevrolet 1700. When GMK was renamed to Saehan, the 1700 became Saehan Camina.
Saehan's range was composed of diverse GM models: the Saehan Gemini was based on 1974 Isuzu's Bellett Gemini, then replaced by the Maepsy (known under the Saehan Bird name in export versions), which was a development of the Gemini. Its pickup derivate, the Saehan Max, is now a part of Korean automobile history. Saehan also marketed the Opel Rekord E and created later on, on this basis, their Royale Series, composed of the Royale Diesel, Royale Automatic and Royale Salon models.