Gov’t launches new test road for large commercial vehiclesThe Korean government began construction on Tuesday on its first test road aimed at large commercial vehicles, such as trucks and trailers, in Gunsan, North Jeolla. Local sales and exports of Korean-made commercial vehicles have increased over the years, so quality management for such automobiles has become more important. The road is slated to open in 2017.
The vehicle-testing zone, which consists of seven roads on a piece of land measuring about 435,000 square meters (107 acres), cost 50.3 billion won ($46 million) to build. The zone will include an engineering center, which is open for small and midsize auto parts suppliers as well conglomerates. So far, local automakers have had to test their trucks and trailers at overseas sites. According to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, Hyundai Motor’s Porter 1-ton capacity was the best-selling product in the first quarter of this year with 24,850 units, outselling Sonata sedans’ 22,770 units and Morning compacts’ 20,840 units.
The trend has continued since last year, as the domestic economy slumped after the tragic Sewol ferry sinking and as the government spent large amounts on funding small businesses.