The Korea Herald


Foreign firms flock back to Busan

By Kim Yon-se

Published : Feb. 19, 2012 - 21:07

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Bentley Brooklands Bentley Brooklands

Biennial car show expected to be largest ever with participation of 18 automakers

The Busan International Motor Show 2012 is likely to be the largest scale ever, with new offerings from 18 automakers including 13 import brands.

The previous Busan Motor Show, which was held in 2010, attracted only two import brands.

Two years ago foreign carmakers downplayed the benefits of participation, but this year’s event could be a great chance for the 13 import brands as they are set to unveil a number of new vehicles in Korea in the first half of 2012.

The foreign carmakers are seeking to maximize marketing and sales of new models by showcasing new imports at the event.

The auto show ― which will emphasize low-emission vehicles ― will be held for 11 days from May 24 to June 3 at the BEXCO in Haeundae, Busan.

The import brands, which has registered for participation, included BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, Audi, Bentley, Nissan, Infiniti, Mini, Cadillac, Toyota, Lexus, Ford and Lincoln.
GM Korea Chevrolet Concept GM Korea Chevrolet Concept
Audi Cabriolet Audi Cabriolet

The other exhibitors are Hyundai Motor, Kia Motors, GM Korea, Renault Samsung Motors and Ssangyong Motor.

Many auto parts suppliers are also to participate in the auto show, according to the organizing committee.

“Our biennial Busan International Motor Show has played a significant role in fueling the development of domestic automobile industry and contributed greatly in building a competitive global reputation,” Busan Mayor Hur Nam-sik said.

Since our commencement in 2001, Busan International Motor Show has grown tremendously for the past decade and our achievements were only made possible through your passionate interest and support, he said.

“Now, for a new decade ahead, 2012 Busan International Motor Show is preparing an ambitious voyage full of new challenges.”

Like the shows theme of “Voyage of the Green Car Across the Pacific,” a number of eco-friendly vehicles and futuristic concept cars are expected to draw interest from spectators.

Nissan is moving to introduce its first diesel model, the Infiniti FXd, to Korea for the first time in Asian markets. It may be unveiled during the Busan event.

Ford Motor Korea plans to import the All-New Ford Focus, equipped with diesel engines later this year.

Hanbul Motors Corp., the official importer and distributor for France-based PSA Peugeot-Citroen, plans to launch the diesel-electric hybrid version of its 3008 crossover hatchback, the Peugeot 3008 HYbrid4.

Volkswagen’s Jetta 1.6 TDI BlueMotion can run at 22.2 kilometers per liter without help from electric motors. Its high efficiency comes solely from Volkswagen’s BlueMotion diesel engine.

Chrysler’s diesel-powered Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland and 300 C luxury sedan models will likely be showcased.
BMW M1 Concept BMW M1 Concept

BMW Group, which launched the first diesel version of the MINI to the local market early this month, is considering introducing two diesel models for the new BMW 3 Series.

Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors plan to focus on their unique technologies in the eco-friendly sector.

Hyundai and its affiliate Kia’s strategies have particularly been focused on promotion of “100-percent independent” technologies, applied to development of the hybrid Sonata and K5.

Ssangyong Motor’s Korando Sports, equipped with a 2.0-liter e-XDi200 diesel engine, has a high fuel efficiency of 15.6 kilometers per liter and six-speed automatic transmission.

According to the Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association, 35.2 percent import vehicles sold in the Korean market last year was a diesel-powered car.

That figure is a rise from 25.4 percent a year earlier.

The number of imported diesel car registrations reached 36,931 units in 2011, up 60.5 percent from 23,006 units in 2010.

Sales of imported gasoline vehicles in the Korean market contracted from 65,269 units in 2010 to 64,181 units in 2011.

By Kim Yon-se (