Los Angeles Auto Show Focuses on Greener Cars

The Los Angeles Auto Show kicked off on Wednesday with the focus on future-oriented green cars such as electric-powered and fuel cell electric vehicles. Dozens of new cars also feature cutting-edge technology to maximize fuel efficiency.

BMW unveiled an electric car it hopes to produce commercially next year. Mercedes-Benz showcased a concept FCEV that does not even emit steam.

The Los Angeles Auto Show was first held in 1907, and although not as big as the other motor shows in New York and Detroit, it has gained a reputation for its future-oriented, eco-friendly theme as it is held in California, which has tough environmental regulations. It ends on Dec. 9.

John Krafcik, he CEO of Hyundai Motor America, presented a new convertible three-door concept car, the Veloster C3, with a roof that can be opened both to the front and the back.

The Hyundai Veloster C3 Roll Top is unveiled during a press conference at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles, California on Wednesday. /Reuters-Yonhap The Hyundai Veloster C3 Roll Top is unveiled during a press conference at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles, California on Wednesday. /Reuters-Yonhap

Krafcik claimed Hyundai's loyal customers still support the company despite a scandal surrounding its overstatement of fuel efficiency, and that even after the revision Hyundai is still ahead with its average fuel efficiency improving from 25.4mpg (10.8 km/L) in 2010 to 27.5mpg (11.7 km/L) this year.

Meanwhile, U.S. car research firm Truecar.com predicted a 12.5-percent rise in Hyundai and Kia's sales for November with 97,000 cars compared to a year ago. This is similar to the overall growth in sales of new cars in the U.S. market in November and to suggest that the Korean giant did not sustain much damage from the scandal, which broke out in early November.

Out of 900,000 owners of cars whose fuel efficiency was inflated, about 350,000 have so far applied for a fuel card offered in compensation.

Meanwhile, Kia's new additions in the North American market -- the K3, sold Forte in the U.S., and the New Sorrento R, marketed simply as the Sorrento -- met with a warm response, the company said.

Kia showcased a number of popular concept cars as part of charitable campaign "We Can Be Heroes," which aims to tackle famine in Northeast Africa. They are the Optima Batman, Forte 5-door Cyborg, Coupe Flash and Rio Aquaman.

englishnews@chosun.com / Nov. 30, 2012 13:02 KST