Release of New Models Boosts Demand for SUVs

Large sedans and SUVs are becoming increasingly popular in the domestic car market. The country's five automakers -- Hyundai, Kia, GM Korea, Ssangyong and Renault Samsung -- sold a total of 382,206 cars during the first four months of this year, up 6 percent from the same period last year. The combined sales of large sedans rose 64 percent with 20,502 cars sold.

The new Genesis that Hyundai released at the end of last year led the surging sales, along with the face-lifted K9, which was rolled out in early January. Sales of the new Genesis, in particular, stood at 14,045 units, up more than threefold from a year earlier.

Sales of SUVs reached 106,135 units, up 27 percent from 83,895 last year. Demand for SUVs has jumped in recent years as consumers favor more practical options and increasingly use their cars for leisure and camping purposes. Sales are expected to get another boost with the upcoming release of new SUVs like Kia's Carnival and Sorento.

Sales of subcompacts are also on the up. Some 63,102 were sold from January to April, up 6.2 percent from last year. Despite the absence of new models in this sector, sales were spurred by promotional offers amid sluggish demand.

englishnews@chosun.com / May 07, 2014 10:22 KST