Vince Courtenay


Vince covers South Korea and other markets in the Asia/Pacific region.

Chinese CUV Gets Enthusiastic Reception in Korea
The Chinese government is backing a boycott of Korean-made vehicles, but in Korea demand for Chinese automaker BAIC’s Kenbo 600 is outstripping supply and imports are being increased.
Hyundai, Kia Make History in Dispute Over Recall Orders 1
The automakers are refusing to call back 10 models over a variety of defects they say do not present a danger to occupants. The Korean government thinks otherwise.
China Sales Boycott, Labor Demands Pressure Hyundai-Kia
In addition to a sharp plunge in Chinese sales due to a government-led boycott of Korean products, the automakers are facing higher wage demands from their unions and calls for price increases from suppliers.
Ssangyong Hopes G4 Rexton Matches Tivoli’s Success
The new vehicle, which initially will sell alongside the aging Rexton W, arrives just in time to help offset a dismal first quarter for Ssangyong, which reported a net loss of 13.9 billion won, compared with a net profit of 2.3 billion won a year earlier.
Kia to Spend $1.1 Billion on First India Auto Plant
Analysts speculate the plant’s first product offerings will be a compact sedan that could be exported and a compact SUV being developed exclusively for the Indian market.
Bolt’s Lead Designer Describes Clean-Sheet Creation 1
“We developed a unique architecture, a unique and brand-new 60-kW/hr battery, drive unit, the vehicle’s functionality, aluminum doors and liftgate, electronic shifter, touchscreen display system, all launched with great quality in the United States in just three-and-a-half years,” Stuart Norris says.
Hyundai Silent on Reports Kia Plant Coming to India
Kia has been seeking an India production location for much of the past two years so it can tap into the expanding market there. Sales grew 9.3% to about 2.1 million units in calendar 2016, up 9.3% from prior-year, WardsAuto data shows. Light-truck sales grew 8.5% to 1.3 million units.
VW, Audi Units Meant for Korea Sale Germany-Bound 1
Shipping the 13,000 vehicles back to Germany, rather than having them checked for compliance in Korea, ended speculation the automakers would hold a national “Dieselgate sale” offering huge discounts on models that received recertification.
Kia Design Chief Vows to Keep Human Element in Cars
Peter Schreyer emphasizes the industry must ensure autonomous vehicles are compatible with the human condition. More research is needed to determine how to provide the proper environment, aesthetics and physical and emotional comfort.
Boycott Linked to Hyundai-Kia March Crash in China
The consumer boycott of Korean products includes not only automobiles but also cosmetics and electronics in China, which accounts for a little more than 25% of Hyundai Group’s global sales.
Stinger Fastback Sedan Leads Way Upmarket for Kia 1
Kia’s upper-brand strategy appears similar to the approach its Hyundai affiliate took in launching its separate Genesis line. But it’s not clear whether Kia will go global with this plan or keep it within South Korea.
Ssangyong Reveals Images of G4 Rexton Midsize CUV
Designed and developed in Korea, the G4 Rexton’s front end is similar to that of the highly successful Tivoli small CUV, also a Ssangyong in-house design.
Renault Samsung QM6 Making Export Debut in Europe
Nearly 1,800 units of the QM6 already have been shipped to Europe, where they will be sold as the Renault Koleos in 12 nations. The automaker is targeting 30,000 European sales of the QM6 this year, with another 10,000 units being shipped to South America and other export markets.
Restructuring May Be in Works for Hyundai Motor
South Korea’s National Assembly is pressuring Hyundai and other family-controlled company groups to reorganize into regulated, transparent business organizations with greater shareholder control and responsibility.
Koreans Snap Up First Imported Bolt EVs in 2 Hours
The Bolt will highlight GM Korea’s offerings at the Seoul auto show, where it will take its first bow as a pure EV that is available for sale to consumers.


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