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Seoul Motor Show to be largest ever

Annual event draws 12 Korean and 23 foreign carmakers


The upcoming Seoul Motor Show is set to be the biggest yet, with new offerings from domestic and foreign carmakers.

This year’s Seoul Motor Show, to open with a media preview on March 31, will be packed with 12 domestic carmakers and 23 foreign brands.

In comparison, last year’s Busan International Motor Show had only two foreign carmakers ― Lotus and Subaru ― present their wares, adding little credibility to its status as an international event.

The previous Seoul Motor Show, held in 2009, the country’s largest and only one recognized by the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers didn’t fare much better, with only eight foreign carmakers taking part.

With 35 carmakers taking part, this year’s Seoul Motor Show will offer a large number of new vehicles for Korean car enthusiasts, and the event’s organizers are expecting more than 1 million visitors to flock to the KINTEX exhibition center in Goyang, Gyeonggi Province.

This year’s offerings will include 54 new vehicles, of which five will be world premieres while 22 models will be unveiled for the first time in Asia.

The five world premieres will include Hyundai Motor Co.’s concept car HND-6 and Kia Motors Corp.’s KND-5 concept cars, and GM Korea Co.’s concept car Miray.

Hyundai Motor Co.’s Curb (HCD-12) concept vehicle is displayed at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Jan. 10. (Bloomberg)
Hyundai Motor Co.’s Curb (HCD-12) concept vehicle is displayed at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Jan. 10. (Bloomberg)

Renault Samsung Motors Co., which hasn’t launched a new model in some time, will be displaying the show car version of the upcoming replacement for the SM7 large sedan.

Of the 22 Asia premieres, nine will be from domestic firms. Foreign firms’ Asia premieres will be dominated by U.S. brands with Ford and Chrysler vehicles accounting for six of the 13 such vehicles.

Foreign carmakers will also present a number of concept cars. The largest number of concept cars will come from the Japanese giant Toyota, including plug-in hybrid version of the Prius and FT-86 G Sports Concept.

High-end marques such as Infiniti, Audi and Porsche will also be showing off concept vehicles at the show.

Audi’s contribution to Seoul Motor Show’s concept car lineup will be the e-tron, while Infiniti will be unveiling the Essence concept for the first time in Korea. German luxury sports car maker Porsche will be introducing the 918 RSR.

While foreign carmakers’ presence at the show is set to be on an unprecedented scale, the show will nevertheless be dominated by Korean firms, with their booths taking up much of the floor space.

However, the show still promises to be an exciting opportunity for enthusiasts to view the latest developments in the industry.

The country’s largest carmaker Hyundai will display 17 different models including hybrid electric versions of the midsized sedan Sonata and the compact car Avante. The company will also present the HCD-12 concept car seen at overseas industry events.

Infiniti Essence concept car. (Nissan Korea)
Infiniti Essence concept car. (Nissan Korea)


Its sister carmaker Kia will present 14 models.

GM Korea, which recently completed the process of converting to the Chevrolet brand and changing its corporate name from GM Daewoo Auto and Technology Co., will be using the event to show off the range of Chevrolet cars to Korean consumers.

The carmaker’s exhibits, aside from the Miray concept car, will include the Volt electric car, electric version of the Cruze compact car as well as the Camaro and the Corvette.

The Seoul Motor Show will also provide an opportunity to gauge changes to come in the country’s imports market.

At the 11-day event, three models from Citroen will be displayed, heralding the French carmaker’s return to the Korean market after a nine-year hiatus.

Absent from Korea since 2002, the French marque will hit the local market later in the year with Hanbul Motors Corp., the official importer of Peugeot vehicles, acting as its sales agent.

Toyota Korea will be using the stage to introduce the bestselling compact car Corolla to Korean motorists.

The Corolla, which holds the world sales record with more than 37 million units sold since the first generation Corolla was launched in 1966, is the first compact car from Toyota to come to Korea.

By Choi He-suk  (cheesuk@heraldcorp.com)


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2011서울모터쇼 역대 최대 규모…139개 업체계 첫 공개 차량 5대 등 300여대 출품

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서울모터쇼조직위원회(위원장 권영수)는 10일 오전 소공동 롯데호텔에서 기자간담회를 열고, 2011서울모터쇼의 준비현황과 전시 출품의 특징 등에 대해 밝혔다.

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현대차 HCD-12, 기아차 K5 하이브리드카, 포르쉐 918 RSR 등 22대가 아시아에서는 처음 공개되고, 도요타의 월드 베스트 셀링 모델인 코롤라와 폴크스바겐의 제타및 투아렉 등 27대가 국내 처음 선보인다.

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수입차 브랜드 중에는 렉서스가 지난달 출시한 프리미엄 컴팩트 하이브리드 CT200h를 비롯해 가장 많은 하이브리드 모델을 선보인다.

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한편, 서울모터쇼는 한국자동차공업협회(KAMA)와 한국수입차협회(KAIDA),  한국자동차공업협동조합(KAICA)의 공동주최로 1995년부터 2년마다 한 번씩 열리며  올해로 8회째를 맞고 있다.
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