Minivan Dethrones Sedans to Top Corporate Vehicle Registrations in South Korea | Be Korea-savvy

Minivan Dethrones Sedans to Top Corporate Vehicle Registrations in South Korea

The Kia Carnival minivan (Image courtesy of Kia)

The Kia Carnival minivan (Image courtesy of Kia)

SEOUL, May 22 (Korea Bizwire) – The Kia Carnival minivan, once renowned as the quintessential family vehicle for road trips and camping, took the top spot for corporate vehicle registrations in South Korea during the first quarter of 2024.

This marks the first time the Carnival has claimed the number one position on a quarterly basis. 

While the Carnival had consistently ranked within the top five for corporate registrations, it had previously lagged behind traditional sedans like the Hyundai Grandeur and Genesis G80.

However, the Carnival’s spacious interior and versatility have endeared it to high-ranking executives who prioritize practicality, leading to its transition from a family favorite to a corporate workhorse.

The release of a hybrid variant in December 2023 also contributed to its surge in popularity. 

According to the automotive research firm Carisyou, the Carnival recorded 9,403 corporate registrations in the first three months of 2024, an 11% increase from the same period last year when it registered 8,419 units.

It outpaced the Grandeur (6,219 units), Sorento (4,935 units), G80 (4,468 units), and GV80 (4,015 units). 

Historically, sedans have dominated the corporate vehicle market, with the Grandeur claiming the top spot every first quarter from 2019 to 2023, except for 2022 when the Genesis G80 briefly took the lead.

However, this year, the Grandeur’s corporate registrations plummeted by 35% compared to last year.

The Carnival’s appeal as a corporate vehicle lies in its versatility. Available in both seven- and nine-passenger configurations, the nine-seater variant allows access to bus-only lanes on highways when carrying six or more occupants, making it ideal for business trips or weekend golf outings.

Additionally, corporate vehicles with nine or more seats qualify for value-added tax deductions, further enhancing the Carnival’s cost-effectiveness. Its generous interior space relative to its exterior dimensions is another advantage. 

Notably, the midsize Genesis GV80 SUV secured the fifth spot for corporate registrations in the first quarter, an unprecedented achievement.

Over the past five years, the GV80 had only cracked the top 10 once, ranking 10th in 2020.

This shift signifies a broader trend in the corporate market, with SUVs and recreational vehicles (RVs) like minivans gaining traction alongside traditional sedans.

Among the top five corporate models in the first quarter, two were SUVs, one was an RV, and two were sedans – a stark contrast from five years ago when there was only one SUV and one RV in the top ranks.

Kevin Lee ( 

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