Automakers Prepare Flurry of New Models Ahead of High Season

A series of new cars are lined up for release starting next month, including recreational vehicles and domestic diesel models, as automakers gear up for the summer holiday season from June to August.

This week, Kia Motors will roll out its new Carnival minivan, which has undergone a total facelift in the eight years since the second-generation model was released in 2006. Equipped with a 2.2-liter diesel engine and six-speed automatic transmission, the new model is more spacious than its predecessor.

Kia also plans to launch a newly modified version of its midsize SUV Sorento in August. By offering a diverse choice of recreational vehicles in time for the upcoming camping season, the automaker hopes to make up for lackluster sedan sales.

With imported cars currently soaring in popularity, Hyundai Motor aims to take on foreign brands with its new models, which include a diesel version of the Grandeur designed to compete against German diesels.

In September and October, a new model positioned between the Grandeur and the Genesis will hit showrooms, strengthening the carmaker's premium line-up. Similarly, Renault Samsung will likely unveil a diesel version of the SM5 as early as August.

In a bid to outpace BMW, which leads Korea's import market, second-placed Mercedes-Benz will release a fully revamped model of its mid-sized C-Class next month. Third-placed Volkswagen, meanwhile, plans to add some diversity to its flagship Golf line with the debut of the gasoline-powered 1.4 TSI BlueMotion, as well as the GTI and GTD at the end of this month.

Porsche released the Macan, its first compact SUV, here on Tuesday. It is currently available in two models -- the Macan Turbo and Macan S -- while the Macan S Diesel will hit showrooms around next month.

englishnews@chosun.com / May 21, 2014 12:11 KST