SEOUL, Sept. 26 (Korea Bizwire) – The midsize SUV market is gaining popularity in Korea, and it’s influencing the way cars are manufactured. Currently, SUV factories are working at full throttle, churning out a large number of vehicles, while production facilities dedicated to manufacturing sedans are experiencing a slowdown in output.
This situation is evident at Hyundai’s Ulsan plant. During the past weekend, the factory responsible for producing the company’s upscale Genesis sedans such as the G70, G80, and G90 remained idle. This decision was made because there is currently low demand for sedans in Korea, necessitating an adjustment in production levels. In fact, throughout the entire month of September, there were no special shifts scheduled for this particular factory. Hyundai attributed this reduced interest in luxury sedans to higher interest rates and the economic downturn.
The preference for SUVs over sedans is not limited to Korea alone. According to a study, last year’s global auto sales saw SUVs accounting for 40.8 percent of the market, surpassing sedans (35.2 percent) for the second consecutive year.
Simultaneously, the Hyundai factory responsible for producing Genesis SUVs like the GV70 and GV80 increased its working hours. Other Hyundai factories manufacturing different types of vehicles also extended their hours to boost production.
Reviewing Hyundai’s sales figures, only 45,535 Genesis sedans were sold from January to August this year, marking a 10 percent decrease compared to the same period last year when 55,590 units were sold. Conversely, Genesis sold 40,502 SUVs like the GV70 and GV80 in the first eight months of this year, representing a 24.6 percent increase compared to last year’s 32,501 units. Consequently, despite the growing popularity of SUVs, Genesis saw only a modest 1.8 percent increase in sales during the first eight months of this year.
Among all the Genesis sedans, only the G80 experienced a slight increase in sales, up by 3.6 percent, with 33,296 units sold in the first eight months of this year. Conversely, the G70 suffered a 17.6 percent decline in sales, with only 3,115 units sold, while the G90 faced a significant 37.8 percent drop, with sales totaling 9,124 units. Even though the G70 received a facelift this year, it did not significantly impact sales. The addition of a mild hybrid engine to the base model of the G90 this year also failed to generate substantial sales. Furthermore, the mild hybrid option was extended to the regular G90, which was previously only available on the longer version.
The G80 is scheduled for a facelift later this year in Korea, with hopes of rejuvenating sales of Genesis sedans. The G80 accounted for a substantial 73 percent of all Genesis sedan sales this year.
SUVs remain popular due to their practicality, especially among families. Interestingly, even individuals living alone without family members also show a preference for SUVs.
Kevin Lee (email@example.com)