Sport Utility Vehicles Gaining Popularity in S. Korea | Be Korea-savvy

Sport Utility Vehicles Gaining Popularity in S. Korea


SEOUL, Mar. 25 (Korea Bizwire)A steady decrease in the sale of sedans in the South Korean market has shrunk their presence down to 50 percent of total automobile sales.

Sport utility vehicles (SUV) and car derived vans (CDV), on the other hand, are expanding rapidly, and are expected to soon replace sedans as the most popular segment in the South Korean auto market.

The Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association announced on Sunday that among 86,932 cars sold in February, only 44,171 (50.8 percent) were sedans, an all-time low.

This was the result of a 12.1 percent decrease in sales of sedans in February compared to the same month last year, while SUVs and CDVs increased in sales by 14.2 percent and 15.4 percent, respectively, thanks to the popularity of Hyundai Motor Co.’s flagship Palisade SUV and the Rexton Sports SUV by SsangYong Motor Co.


Experts argue that the shrinking presence of sedans in the South Korean market is largely the result of decreasing sales of Hyundai’s Sonata, once known as the ‘people’s car’ for its massive popularity.

After reaching a peak with 151,377 models sold in 2010, the Sonata series has been shrinking in presence in the market, with only 65,846 sold last year.

“We hope that the new Sonata, introduced by Hyundai Motor last week, will help sedans recover their once strong presence in the market,” said one expert.

Image Credit: Hyundai Motor Co. / SsangYong Motor Co. /

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