SEOUL, Nov.30 (Korea Bizwire) – Although sales of foreign diesel cars froze after it was revealed that Volkswagen cars were ‘cheating’ on emissions tests, sales of environmentally friendly hybrid cars are rising fast.
Industry watchers even say that a new ‘era of hybrid cars’ is beginning, as Hyundai Motor and Toyota both saw their highest sales of hybrid cars last month.
According to motor industry analysts, Hyundai Motor has sold a total of 17,747 hybrid cars among its three models (Sonata hybrid, Sonata Plugin Hybrid and Grandeur Hybrid) since the beginning of the year, for a 20.4 percent increase in sales over the same period last year (14,746 cars), which was a high up to that point.
Sales of Hyundai’s hybrid cars dipped the lowest in September (1,234 cars), but rose dramatically in October (1,487 cars) after news of the Volkswagen scandal broke.
Toyota’s hybrids showed a very noticeable increase in sales as well. The total sales of Toyota hybrid cars (including Lexus) from January to October this year increased 23.3 percent compared to the sales of 5,864 cars recorded during the same period last year, which exceeded the highest number of sales for the brand. A total of 849 hybrid cars were sold in October, which represented a new monthly sales high for Toyota.
With hybrid cars from Hyundai Motor and Toyota selling well, the sales of domestic and foreign hybrid cars until October reached a total of 30,159 this year, which was a 6.7 percent increase compared to the same period last year.
Industry watchers are expecting that the domestic hybrid car market will show rapid growth due to the negative image of foreign diesel cars after the Volkswagen scandal.
To keep up with the current wave, other brands are planning to launch new hybrid cars. Kia Motors is launching its new K5 Hybrid next month, while Hyundai Motor is planning to launch its ‘AE’ (project name), which is a hybrid model that will compete against Toyota’s international best seller, the Prius.
By Francine Jung (Francine.firstname.lastname@example.org)