SEOUL, June 26 (Korea Bizwire) – South Korea’s major automobile manufacturers are all set to make a big splash in global eco-friendly vehicle markets in the coming months, local industry sources said Sunday.
Hyundai Motor Co. plans to begin the sale of the Ioniq hybrid in the United States and Europe in the latter half of this year.
It boasts a combined fuel economy rating of 22.4 kmpl. Many expect fierce competition with Toyota’s top-selling Prius hybrid.
Hyundai will also put its Ioniq pure-electric vehicle (EV) on sale in foreign markets.
The vehicle is estimated to travel 191 km on a single charge, which is upwards of 100 km longer than other electric cars on sale in South Korea at present.
Hyundai also started the production of the hybrid version of its Sonata midsize car in its factory in Beijing in May. China has emerged as the biggest market for green cars.
Kia Motors Corp., Hyundai’s smaller corporate cousin, is targeting the global market with its newly unveiled flagship SUV Niro hybrid subcompact. It was first shown in Europe last month.
The carmaker said it wants to expand the exports of Niro to the Middle East within this year and Latin America early next year.
Niro, a relatively spacious vehicle for a hybrid, is equipped with a 1.6 GDI engine, coupled with a 32 kW motor system and six-speed dual clutch transmission. The Niro can produce up to 141 horsepower and a maximum torque of 27 kg-meters, the company said.
South Korea’s first small hybrid SUV has a fuel efficiency of 19.5 kmpl, Kia claimed, adding it aims to sell large numbers of the vehicle.
The company’s K5 hybrid sedan and its plug-in hybrid model will hit the global market later this year.
“We will attain the goal of becoming the No. 2 player in the world’s eco-friendly car market by developing a total of 28 kinds of vehicles by 2020,” said Kwon Moon-sik, Hyundai Motor Group’s vice chairman who is in charge of research and development for Hyundai and Kia cars.