China’s DFSK starts truck, van sales in KoreaDFSK, an affiliate of the Chinese state-owned Dongfeng Motor, began official sales of its first truck and van in Korea on Wednesday.
The automaker marked its entry into the local market with the C35 two-passenger van and the 0.9-ton truck C31. The standard C35 is priced at 14.5 million won ($12,800) while the business model, equipped with upgrade options like a wireless door key and an aluminum tire rims, is 15.8 million won. The C31 is 12.3 million won.
“Both models were designed to have a narrow body adequate to move between Korea’s small alleys,” said the company.
“The next ongoing plan is to launch by June C35 in the five-passenger version and the truck C32, which is also able to hold up to five people.”
Hyundai Motor’s 1-ton Porter is the dominant small truck in Korea. The 2017 model sells for 15.2 million to 20.6 million won. DFSK models’ advantage are their price, which could be an appealing point for businesses looking to cut operations costs.
DFSK specializes in manufacturing sports-utility vehicles and small automobiles for commercial use such as deliveries. Its parent company Dongfeng Motor is one of the three largest carmakers in China.
The launch comes at a time when economic relations between China and Korea are rocky, with China having turned its back on Korean products in the aftermath of Korea deploying the U.S. antimissile system also known as Thaad.
However, DFSK’s efforts to step into the Korean market go back as early as 2015 when it embarked on following procedures to acquire government certifications to sell its cars. C35 and C31 received certifications this year. DFSK Korea opened six stores in the country and aims to open four more this year.
Apart from the C series, DFSK Korea is preparing to acquire certificates for the mini truck K01H, which is slightly smaller than C31, and the SUV Glory 580.
BY SONG KYOUNG-SON [email@example.com]