Pope Francis wishes to use a compact car if possible during his visit to Korea in August and has asked the man in charge of his itinerary to keep this in mind when he comes here for a scouting trip in June.
Fr. Matthias Hur Young-yup, who is preparing for the pope's visit here, announced the decision while explaining details of the papal visit on Monday.
Francis uses a Ford Focus in the Vatican. Industry insiders here say the smallest Korean cars are the Kia's Morning and Ray and GM Korea's Spark.
The Ford Focus sold in Italy has an engine size of 1,600cc, which is similar to the Hyundai Avante and Kia K3.
"I expect either the Avante or K3 will be selected for security reasons and in consideration of the pope's current car," an industry insider said.
"The decision will be made when the security team makes its final visit at the end of July," Hur said.
Since Francis became pope, masses in the Vatican have been simplified, and the focus has shifted to the message rather than pomp and circumstance, he said. "The same principle will apply to the papal visit to Korea."
Asked about recent speculation that the pope is unwell, Hur said, "We have checked this through various channels, but we believe that it will not affect his travel plans."