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Hot wheels: Automakers unveil lineup

Local car companies strut their stuff at the Busan motor show.

Apr 30,2010
The latest version of the Hyundai Avante, a new GM Daewoo line called Alpheon and several advanced electric cars are among the bevy of vehicles local automakers unveiled to the public yesterday to kick off the Busan International Motor Show.

Korea’s five car manufacturers - Hyundai, Kia, GM Daewoo, Renault Samsung and Ssangyong - are participating in the 10-day event, hoping to capitalize on the industry’s recent momentum. The exhibit, which ranks as the country’s second-largest motor show, is being held at the Busan Exhibition and Convention Center, or Bexco, in the southern port city. Hyundai Motor’s new Avante model features six-speed automatic transmission and a 1.6-liter Gamma engine featuring gasoline direct injection technology. The automaker says it represents the first compact sedan in Korea to include both features. The model also boasts several upgrades not found on other compact cars, such as high-intensity discharge headlamps, heated rear seats and a color information display nestled in the dashboard.

“The new Avante encompasses Hyundai’s latest ambitions, featuring the best styling and performance in its class,” Steve S. Yang, CEO of Hyundai’s global business division, said in a statement. “We’re confident that it will once again redefine the compact segment worldwide.”

Mike Arcamone, CEO of GM Daewoo, poses with the company’s new Alpheon. [NEWSIS]
Since the launch of the Avante in 1990, more than 6 million cars in the line have been sold worldwide. Hyundai plans to begin selling the all-new Avante in August. GM Daewoo Auto & Technology, the local unit of GM, unveiled a new luxury sedan yesterday called the Alpheon. The executive sedan, which will go on sale in the second half of the year, shares the same architecture as GM’s Buick LaCrosse, one of the three finalists for the 2010 North American Car of the Year.

“We have added another attractive model to our product portfolio and our first entry in the fast-growing upper-midsize segment in Korea,” GM Daewoo CEO Mike Arcamone said, adding that he is confident that the model will please even the most sophisticated luxury sedan buyers in Korea.

GM Daewoo also is displaying a seven-seat compact multipurpose mini-van called the Orlando, which is making its first appearance at an international motor show in Asia. The company plans to sell it starting next year.

The all-new Avante from Hyundai Motor [NEWSIS]
Renault Samsung Motors, the local unit of Renault, unveiled a show car version of its SM3 2.0. The automaker said it will introduce the SM3 2.0 in the second half of the year.

Ssangyong Motor introduced the C200 concept car, which is a crossover utility vehicle the company plans to begin selling this year. The car will be marketed as the fourth-generation Korando, a defunct SUV model that used to be Ssangyong’s steady seller.

Kia Motors, Hyundai’s affiliate, also showcased its K5 sedan, which will replace the Lotze sedan. Smaller than its popular K7 executive vehicle, the K5 will go on sale beginning next month.

Small electric carmakers also unveiled new models. AD Motors’ Change, to be sold starting in June, is the company’s first electric car. Power Plaza is showcasing two electric cars, the Bongo3 and Labom. The company did not disclose release dates.


By Moon Gwang-lip [joe@joongang.co.kr]



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