The nation's five domestic carmakers achieved record-high sales of recreation vehicles (RVs) in the first half of this year.
According to industry sales data, Tuesday, the five domestic carmakers ― Hyundai Motor, Kia Motors, Renault Samsung, Ssangyong Motor and GM Korea ― have sold a total of 271,523 RVs here in the January-June period this year, up 8.7 percent from 2015.
The data shows the nation's largest carmaker duo has led the sales boom. Hyundai's Santa Fe and Tucson, and Kia's Carnival and Sorento were the top four selling RVs.
A total of 43,912 Sorento SUVs were sold in the period, the bestselling RV model, followed by the Santa Fe SUV at 41,178. The Carnival minivan and Tucson SUV ranked third and fourth, respectively, with sales of 32,038 and 31,741.
Some 27,969 Tivoli were sold putting the SUV in fifth place, and leading the long-embattled Ssangyong Motor back into the game.
Such popularity is even more evident when compared to other vehicle types.
Sales in the first half of the year of other types of vehicles have increased only 28 percent for the last 10 years, from 319,572 cars to 409,192, while RVs have surged in sales by 120 percent, from 123,290 to 271,523.
Reflecting the consumer trends, domestic carmakers are strengthening their RV lineups here, hinting that such a trend will continue for a while.
Kia Motors introduced the nation's first eco-friendly Niro SUV in March while Hyundai Motor is reportedly considering domestic releases of more compact SUV models, such as the Creta and ix25, currently sold only in overseas markets and especially popular in China and India.
Ssangyong Motor also strengthened its lineup of the popular Tivoli SUV with the introduction of its long-body version, the Tivoli Air, in March.
In September, Renault Samsung is expected to introduce the QM6, the follow-up to its popular QM5 SUV.
"Not only domestic but also foreign carmakers are all expected to strengthen their RV lineups in Korea," said an industry insider.
"More Koreans are buying cars not only for a means of transportation but also for multiple purposes, especially leisure and fun. Such a trend for RVs will prevail for a while."
(c) 2016 Korea Times Co. Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (Syndigate.info)., source Middle East & North African Newspapers