Japanese Carmakers Pin Hopes on Compact SUVs

      September 17, 2014 11:27

      Amid lackluster sales in the Korean market, Japanese carmakers hope to turn the tables by rolling out compact sports utility vehicles that are gaining popularity.

      Sales of imported cars here rose about 25 percent for the first eight months of this year, but Japanese automakers saw their market share decrease 2.5 percentage points on-year to 11.7 percent.

      Nissan started taking pre-orders for the newly modified Qashqai, featuring a 1.6-liter diesel engine, on Monday. First launched in 2007, the Qashqai has been quite popular and has sold over 2 million units worldwide. Priced at W32-39 million, it boasts a fuel efficiency of 21.7 km/l and added safety features such as autonomous emergency braking and blind-spot monitoring.

      Lexus unveiled the NX300h compact SUV at showrooms across the country last week, one month ahead of its official launch. The hybrid model offers quietness and comfort, and features a 2.5-liter gasoline engine and an electric motor.

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