Carmakers in South Korea are rushing to unveil their new models in an apparent bid to preempt the domestic market this year by appealing to customers with upgraded and enhanced functions and designs, industry sources said Tuesday.
Hyundai Motor Co., the country's largest automaker, plans to launch the Ioniq hybrid mid-January, which marks its first time to unveil a car exclusively developed as an electric vehicle, as opposed to cars based on existing models.
Following the hybrid version deemed to be competing with market leader Prius, Hyundai Motor will expand its lineup by offering plug-in hybrid and electric vehicle models going forward. It started receiving preorders for the Ioniq on Tuesday.
Kia Motors Corp.'s latest version of the K7 will hit showrooms in January. It is the second generation and the first fully changed model since 2009.
During the first half of this year, the smaller affiliate of Hyundai Motor will launch the plug-in hybrid version of the K5 mid-size sedan as well.
Other carmakers, including GM Korea Co. and Ssangyong Motor Co., also eye the market this year with their new models.
Ssangyong Motor Co., the smallest carmaker owned by India's Mahindra and Mahindra, said Sunday that it will launch the 2016 Korando Sports that it claims will show off enhanced convenience and design.
GM Korea, the local unit of U.S. carmaker General Motors Co., will bring the next-generation Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid with an extended driving range to the Korean market this year, industry sources said.
Last year, five automakers producing and selling vehicles in South Korea sold about 1.58 million cars here, which marked the largest in almost 20 years, according to data provided by each company. (Yonhap)