SEOUL, Jul. 21 (Korea Bizwire) — GM Korea Co., the local unit of U.S. carmaker General Motors Co., plans to launch the diesel version of its Chevrolet Trax crossover SUV in September, industry sources said Tuesday.
The new model will likely intensify competition in the small-sized SUV market, which has been expanding at a fast clip in recent years as they appeal to younger and female customers with trendy designs, roomy cargo space and relatively cheap prices compared with bigger SUVs.
According to the sources, GM Korea will start receiving preorders for the diesel version of the Trax this week before its official launch in September.
The Trax, which is being manufactured at GM Korea’s plant in Bupyeong, a city west of Seoul, is the first crossover SUV model available to local customers. It was launched in 2013.
Though it is credited with opening the crossover SUV market here and known to provide a relatively good driving performance, experts see it lags behind other competition models in gas mileage, a key decision factor among fuel efficiency-conscious young customers.
Last year, GM Korea sold 4,813 units of the Trax in South Korea and exported 222,240 units, indicating that it is more popular in overseas markets.
Competition is intensifying here in the B-segment market as local and foreign carmakers launch their own small SUV models to pre-empt their fast-growing demand. Earlier this month, Ssangyong Motor Co. unveiled the diesel model of its popular Tivoli.
During the January-May period, a total of 29,000 units of crossover SUVs were sold in South Korea, more than three times more last year’s tally, industry data showed.’