Korean car makers are releasing a string of diesel models as a way to fend off the rising challenge posed by import cars.
According to industry sources on July 10, the new cars released or to be released by domestic auto makers starting from this month have one thing in common. All of the new cars are diesel models.
Hyundai Motor and Ssangyong Motor, for example, each released Sonata 1.7-liter Diesel and Tivoli Diesel. Kia Motors plans to show off K5 Diesel on July 15, while GM Korea is scheduled to roll out Trax Diesel in September.
Thus far, domestic automobile manufacturers focused mainly on gasoline models since domestic consumers preferred gasoline to diesel models which have had diesel-specific noise and gas emission problems.
This trend, however, changed as foreign brands released a host of high-quality diesel models on the back of their strong technological capabilities in this area. At present, nine out of ten popular import cars in Korea are diesel models. The strength of diesel models, including high level of power output and fuel efficiency, are making a strong appeal to domestic consumers.