Hyundai and Kia are on a sales charge in 2014, and parent company Hyundai Motor Group is increasing projections to a record eight million combined units for the automakers by the end of the year – a bump over the original target of 7.86 million vehicles.
South Korean buyers hoping to stomp on the throttle to hear the thundering V8 of the Chevrolet C7 Corvette have reason to be a little depressed, it seems. The South Korean government has no interest in hearing the 'Vettes angry growl. We're afraid it's just too darn loud.
Hyundai's controversial decision last September to move its Korean headquarters to an expansive (and expensive) new facility was met with a swift backlash by shareholders. After making the biggest land purchase in South Korean history, the company's share price took a nine-point nose dive.
In countries across the globe, ride-hiring app Uber has faced criticism from taxi drivers, who claim the service is unfair, citing the way its (unregistered) drivers can be hired, eliminating the need to stand on a corner hailing. In the South Korean capital of Seoul, though, Uber and the taxi drivers are living harmoniously, thanks to a new service.
Korea is not without its domestic automobiles that would be suitable for transporting a visiting head of state: the Hyundai Equus comes to mind. Failing that, a Genesis sedan would do the trick. Maybe even a Kia K900 or a Renault Samsung SM7. But those familiar with Pope Francis and his taste in transportation won't be surprised that His Holiness has chosen something decidedly more modest for his visit to South Korea.
The ridesharing service Uber promises to connect people needing a lift with drivers offering one, and it appears to be pretty useful. After all, you can use it to summon Optimus Prime. For many cab drivers around the world, though, the app is basically the bane of their existence. The French passed a law mandating wait times before pickups in January, and 30,000 European cabbies staged a mass protest in June. The latest group hoping to ban Uber is the government of Seoul, South Korea.
The mysterious South Korean supercar might have a life after all
The Korean supercar from Oullim Motors, called the Spirra, is making headlines again, this time with regards to an electric powertrain. We've known that there were plans for an electric version of the car since 2011, when we saw a Spirra EV in a video showcasing how the cars are built. Now, Dutch investor Roland Notermans has spoken with Holland's De Telegraaf about plans to actually get the thing built.
Stop us if you've heard this one before: Hyundai is going to have to reduce the officially announced miles-per-gallon number for its 2014 Sonata. While there's a lot of similarity between this new situation and events that transpired in 2012, there are some important differences. For one, the new mileage mistake, which Hyundai says was once again caused by an error at its test centers, is only applicable to cars in the Korean Domestic Market. Secondly, it's not so much mpg as kilometers per lite
In the last 20 years, Korean automakers Hyundai and Kia have gone from a laughingstock in the US with poor reliability and bad design to making legitimately competitive vehicles on par with the best in their segment. However, Korean automaker Ssangyong is a name that doesn't roll off the tongue for American consumers – it's practically unknown. The company wants that to change, and it is reportedly developing plans to export its range of crossovers to the US under a new name.
Hyundai is shedding a bit of light on its electric vehicle plans. About time, too, since the company has spend a long period being quite vague about plugging in while touting its hydrogen plans. The Hyundai and Kia brands will both release their first plug-in hybrid vehicles next year in Korea; an all-electric version of the Kia Soul will roll out in May of this year and a mid-size electric vehicle will be launched as early as next year.
Lithium-ion batteries have two big hurdles to climb if they're going to power millions of plug-in vehicles – they're too expensive and their reliability has been called to question. For next-gen li-ion batteries to make it, there had better be a cheap and plentiful component. How about rice husks?
Around 175 South Korean workers have been forced to pack up their belongings and leave a group of jointly operated factories in North Korea after tensions continued to escalate between the two countries. The workers piled tools and finished products high onto the roofs of regular passenger cars as they evacuated as quickly as possible.
While the Chevy Spark EV will be made in Korea, two important parts –motor and battery pack – are built in the US. Today, General Motors proudly highlighted the start of motor production at its White Marsh plant outside of Baltimore, MD. GM says this move makes it the first domestic automaker to build electric motors and drive units in US.
GM reportedly will produce next-generation electric vehicles in South Korea, alongside the Chevrolet Spark EV (pictured), due to arrive in American showrooms by summer, and later this year in Europe. The Spark EV also will be available for fleets in Canada.
The 2013 Toyota Camry is officially the car of the year in Korea. The country's motoring press graced the Japanese sedan with the honor for the first time, officially marking a shift in prevailing Korean attitudes toward Japan and its products. According to industry analysts, buyers in the country are no longer simply choosing their purchases based on whether or not they're made in South Korea, but rather based on quality and personal choice. That's a big jump from a few years ago, when buyers v
The Yeongnam track that hosts the Korean Grand Prix sees action just once a year, that being the Formula 1 race it was built to host. This year the word "action" is a barely accurate descriptor of what happened during the 55 laps, the suspense after qualifying and what the race result meant for certain drivers proving far more entertaining. But Ferrari's Fernando Alonso said after last week's Japanese Grand Prix, having had his once double-digit lead cut to four points, that we could look forwar
We so wanted to lead this post with a Jim Belushi joke. Alas, the Kia press release announcing the launch of its rear-drive flagship in Korea today specifically clarifies that the K9 will be renamed for other markets.
The Top Gear production team from Korea averted a serious disaster after a helicopter used during filming crashed into the Arizona desert. Amazingly, both the pilot and the camera person escaped the incident relatively unharmed. CNN reports that the pair credit their survival to the thick exterior of the retired military chopper.
There's been no lack of dubious claims for us to raise our eyebrows at over the years, whether it's about some fantastical car reaching the market on schedule and on budget, the veracity of a concept car's space-age powertrain, or reports of a blogger actually stepping outside and into the sunlight. But this one, like all glorious claims of the past – may their memory bring honor to their country for a thousand years to come – takes the proverbial cake.