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Busan Motor Show to be largest ever

Hyundai’s new luxury sedan to make world premiere; Ssangyong likely to boycott the event

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Published : 2014-04-01 20:50
Updated : 2014-04-01 20:50

The 13th Busan International Motor Show will kick off on May 30 at the Busan Exhibition & Convention Center in the southern port city, with 198 vehicles from 15 Korean and foreign carmakers showing off their technical prowess during the 11-day event.

The biannual Busan Motor Show, which alternates with the Seoul Motor Show, will be the largest-ever automotive exhibition held in Korea. According to the organizer, the exhibition space has been increased 54 percent to 46,380 square meters from the previous event.

“The southeastern region is the second-largest car market in Korea only behind Seoul. A fierce competition is expected among carmakers, especially foreign brands, to better appeal to motorists during the event,” said Kim Ki-young, director general of industrial policy bureau in the Busan city government. 
Visitors crowd the exhibition hall of the 2012 Busan International Motor Show held from May 25 to June 3 at the Busan Exhibition & Convention Center. (Lee Sang-sub/The Korea Herald)

The nation’s southeastern region, which includes Busan, Ulsan and South Gyeongsang Province, makes up 40 percent of car sales in Korea, according to the show’s organizing committee. Of them, 22 percent of new registrations are foreign-brand vehicles.

Hyundai Motor, the nation’s largest carmaker, will defend its title as the nation’s largest carmaker by showcasing 22 cars, including the world premiere of its new luxury sedan under the project name AG. The car, which is at the middle level between the Grandeur and Genesis, is expected to hit the market later this year.

Other Korean carmakers like Kia Motors, Renault Samsung Motors and GM Korea also will display some 20 vehicles, respectively. But Ssangyong Motors is highly likely to boycott the show in complaint of its exhibition space location assigned by the organizer.

“We are still waiting for the answer from Ssangyong. Considering it takes two months for a carmaker to prepare for the exhibition, this week is the deadline,” said Yoo Dong-hyun, division chief of BEXCO.

Reflecting the nation’s soaring import car market, a record number of vehicles from foreign carmakers, including two Asian and 15 Korean debuts, will be displayed during the Busan show.

Volkswagen, one of the fastest-growing brands in recent years, will occupy the largest exhibition space among foreign brands, while other top-selling brands like BMW and Audi have almost doubled their exhibition space this year from the previous event.

Other foreign participating brands include Ford, Toyota, Lexus, Nissan, Infiniti, Jaguar Land Rover, Lincoln, Maserati, Mercedes-Benz and Mini.

The organizing committee predicted the number of visitors will exceed the 1 million mark this year.

By Lee Ji-yoon (jylee@heraldcorp.com)

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