Hybrid cars are expanding their user base in Korea. Led by Toyota, import car brands are releasing an increasingly wider variety of hybrid car models in Korea. In addition, Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors are adding a string of new models into their hybrid lineups, aimed at increasing their presence in this market.
Toyota’s Lexus Hybrid enjoyed more than a 30-percent growth in sales in the January-April period of this year. During the same period, Hyundai Motor’s Sonata Hybrid was sold 4,340 units, a 3-fold increase compared to a year ago.
Other import car brands are posing challenge to the Korean hybrid car market which has been led by Toyota. Nissan’s high-end brand Infiniti released the Q50S Hybrid, a hybrid version of its 2.2-liter diesel sedan Q50, and seven-seater SUV QX60 Hybrid last year.
Ford Korea also showed off the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid at the end of last year. The MKZ Hybrid features a 2.0-liter linear four-cylinder gasoline engine and 1.4-kWh lithium ion battery, with a compound fuel efficiency of 16.8 kilometers per liter.
By Lee Kyung-ho