On the eve of 1988’s sizzling Summer Olympic Games in Seoul, we Brits can have purchased any Korean automobile we appreciated; so long as it was once a Hyundai, steadily that includes an uncongenial blue inner and a good nastier pea inexperienced paintjob. Rightly, we didn’t queue to shop for ’em.
Wind ahead 3 many years and all over this, the primary week of the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, simply up the icy mountain street from Seoul, and Hyundais are promoting giant time to UK customers. As are Kias. And with SsangYong SUVs additionally within the combine, the Koreans will once more shift round 200,000 vehicles to Brits this yr. Not dangerous. But nowhere close to just right sufficient for a nonetheless formidable, if tiny, north east Asian nation that already builds about the similar choice of vehicles yearly (three.nine million) because the wobbly, significantly higher USA.
• Winter automobile tick list: using package and highest buys
Truth is, the Koreans are merely warming up in terms of this automobile development lark. The above established marques will proceed to do their factor. But there’s no explanation why automobile manufacturers from the hot previous together with Panther (sports activities vehicles), Asia Motors (nice little SUVs) and Daewoo (affordable city circle of relatives runabouts) can’t and gained’t go back to or make their debuts in UK gross sales retailers. Oullim and Proto are others with doable.
Smaller, intriguing, even lesser identified marques are too a lot of to say and wait within the wings. Mighty Samsung Motors might seem to be a mere automobile participant at the moment. But it’s simply helped the Renault-Nissan circle of relatives it is a part of to develop into the top-selling automobile producer on earth. And simply as Hyundai correctly broke clear of Mercedes and Kia break up from Ford/Mazda, don’t rule out Samsung going it by myself as a builder of top class section or pure-electric automobiles that’ll pair along with your Samsung telephone, laptop or leisure programs.
Also, not anything would satisfaction a powerfully mischievous Samsung greater than to tread at the delicate automobile feet of Hyundai, as a result of they are sour competitors and there’s dangerous blood between the 2 clans. But the darkish horse this is LG Chem may but emerge because the cleverest and most important Korean company at the world EV level. How come? It’s already the sector’s primary provider of rechargeable battery packs for car producers.
And it’s no exaggeration to mention that with out LG Chem, there can be no Ford Focus Electric, Renault ZOE/Fluence/Twizy, Chevrolet Bolt/Spark, Hyundai Ioniq and numerous other natural or part-electric vehicles from the likes of Audi, Volvo, Cadillac and Kia. Not so little and no longer so previous LG Chem is among the best automobile company you’ve by no means heard of. Ignore it at your peril.
Korean vehicles is also promoting neatly across the world, however did they select up any awards within the Auto Express New Car Awards this yr? Click right here to determine.
‘Truth is, Samsung, LG Chem and other Korean firms are merely warming up’