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The Korean car may be stable this time.
Sep 22,2020 14:46CST
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The content below was translated by Tencent automatically for reference.

SMM News: July 22, the tenth generation of Sonata put on the domestic market, September 7, the new K5 Kaiku officially listed. With the joint arrival of the two heavyweight models, the eyes of the industry have once again focused on the Korean car body. Yes, Korean cars have not received so much attention in China for some time.

Used to be brilliant.

How popular was the Korean car? One thing is very telling. Both Beijing Hyundai and Dongfeng Yueda Kia, the two major joint ventures of Korean cars in China, had a dream of becoming one of the top five car companies in the domestic auto market, and this dream was very close to becoming a reality. At highlight moment, Beijing Hyundai has been among the top five in the domestic car market for four years in a row. Although Dongfeng Yueda Kia, which has a more complex joint venture relationship, has not been on the list of the top five in the car market, it has achieved rapid growth for many years in a row and has become a regular in the list of the top 10 car companies in sales.

Around 2013, Beijing Hyundai achieved a market explosion, with annual sales increasing by 19.76% compared with the same period last year, crossing the 1 million mark for the first time to reach 1.03 million vehicles. In 2014, Beijing Hyundai continued to grow by leaps and bounds, climbing to 1.12 million vehicles. Although sales in 2015 and 2016 had some ups and downs, they still achieved sales of more than one million for four consecutive years with sales of 1.06 million and 1.14 million. In 15 years, Beijing Hyundai has become the fastest automobile company in the domestic passenger car market to break through the cumulative market size of 9 million vehicles. You know, at that time, the competition in the domestic automobile industry continued to be fierce, and around 2016, the overall environment of the domestic market was also disadvantageous to Korean cars, but Beijing Hyundai relied on a series of brilliant sales data. surrendered the "modern speed" that is the envy of the whole industry.

At almost the same time as Beijing Hyundai, Dongfeng Yueda Kia has also demonstrated its market potential. In fact, before 2017, Dongfeng Yueda Kia basically maintained the upward sprint market momentum. In 2001, Dongfeng, Yueda and Kia announced the reorganization of Jiangsu Yueda Kia, and formally established Dongfeng Yueda Kia joint venture the following year. The first model is a Chollima model based on Hyundai Gentry. The new car has obvious advantages in terms of performance-to-price ratio, which is very suitable for the awakening domestic family car demand at that time, and quickly set off the signboard of Dongfeng Yueda Kia. In 2008, Dongfeng Yueda Kia's annual sales exceeded the 100, 000 mark (142000 cars) for the first time, and in 2013, Dongfeng Yueda Kia's sales in China exceeded 500000 (547000) for the first time. A year later, with a year-on-year increase of nearly 20%, Dongfeng Yueda Kia's annual sales rose to more than 600000 vehicles. In 2016, Dongfeng Yueda Kia's annual sales reached an all-time peak, rising slightly by 5.5 per cent, handing over more than 650000 vehicles for the year.

Performance-to-price ratio and appearance are two sharp weapons.

To sum up the reasons for the previous popularity of Korean cars is actually very simple, whether it is Beijing Hyundai or Dongfeng Yueda Kia, cost-effective and good-looking model design are the best two sharp weapons to attack the market. So that for quite a long time, when it comes to Korean cars, the first thing that comes to mind is not the level of mechanical level, but the ratio of performance to price and appearance.

There has been such a joke that if you want to buy a B-class car with the money of A-class car, the best choices are "Sanbao", Soba, K5 and Malibao, corresponding to Beijing Hyundai's Sonata 8, Dongfeng Yueda K5 and Chevrolet's Malibao. Although it is just a joke, it is a good proof that the above three models all have a cost-effective label. To sum up, the official pricing of the above three models already has advantages in the competition of the same level, and good discounts are generally available in the terminal market, and they are all models that are both good-looking and good-looking, so they were once popular in the domestic medium-and high-class car market. Interestingly, Korean cars account for two of the three models.

At that time, while the market was up, Korean cars also began to have the idea of transformation. with the continuous increase in sales in the Chinese market, Korean cars thought that the time had come for the brand to break through and start the work of brand reshaping. Dongfeng Yueda Kia began to promote medium-class cars and SUV models. Beijing Hyundai's transformation is more direct, taking a clear-cut stand and throwing out the so-called "dudes" high-end strategy, successively launching Mingtu, Sonata 9, Xintusheng and other models, which are rising up in all market segments. The initial effect was good, but it didn't last long, and the Korean cars that took the high-end route soon gave in to the market. In the game between volume and insurance, Korean cars finally chose the former. However, in the face of fierce market competition and complex international political relations around 2016, it is becoming more and more difficult for Korean cars to maintain their previous market position.

Relying on the new car, the Korean system needs to be revived.

Despite the ethnic complex and geopolitical reasons, what is the biggest reason for the fluctuation of Korean car sales in recent years? According to the analysis of the Global Automotive Research Institute, it is mainly that the cost-effective advantage of Korean cars that originally depended on the most is not so obvious. In recent years, the domestic autonomous car market is rising rapidly, in addition to maintaining the original characteristics of high configuration and low price, great progress has been made in vehicle design. Performance-to-price ratio and appearance, the advantages of independent brands and the two strongest magic weapons of Korean cars completely overlap. The two Korean brands are facing the pursuit and interception of Changan, Great Wall, Geely and other strong independent car companies, and it is conceivable that it is difficult to maintain market share. In addition, Korean cars have been "cost-effective" in recent years by more and more end consumers to see the essence, the so-called "cost-effective" behind still can not escape the law of true fragrance.

However, judging from the recent launch of new cars, Korean cars have obviously started a new round of adjustment, especially from the recent launch of the 10th-generation Sonata and the new K5 Kaiku, we can see that Korean cars are more sincere to the Chinese market.

First of all, in terms of appearance, we should try our best to get closer to the young consumer group. With the brand-new design concept of "perceptual movement", the 10th generation Sonata brings a car running style that is more favored by young people, depressed posture, exaggerated black arrow-feathered front grille, double C penetrating LED rear lights, etc., the tenth generation Sonata has obviously jumped out of the commercial style of the ninth-generation model, took over the mantle of the once-popular Sonata 8 model, and continued to be a young car focusing on the cool concept.

The new K5 Kaiku also makes people return to the trance of that year. When the first generation of domestic K5 came on the market in 2011, relying on the "tiger whistling front face" and fully extended C-pillar, it brought a rare exaggeration in the B-class car market at that time. What about the new K5 Kaiku? The new generation K5, which is built on the same platform as the tenth generation Sonata, will carry out the youthful movement as thoroughly as it does. The evolved tiger-whistling front face, the diving front of the car, the body with a big back, heartbeat headlights, through taillights, and so on, are all showing goodwill to young people. Many people are lamenting that they haven't changed their generation for 9 years, but they are serious as soon as they come.

Looking at the performance-to-price ratio, the tenth generation of Sonata, which is just over 160000, is equipped with an autopilot system that reaches the L2 + level. Including the intelligent cruising function that can identify interval speed measurement and other speed limit signs, the lane keeping function of ensuring that the front of the car is always in the center of the lane, and active safety configurations such as front collision prevention assistance, front collision warning and blind area collision prevention assistance, there is no doubt that a depth bomb has been thrown out in the joint venture Class B car market. The new generation of K5 is more ruthless, the configuration is basically the same, but also played a first-hand "package price" plus life-long free maintenance of Wang fried. Life-long free maintenance is easy to understand, what does "package license price" mean, that is, the guiding price of the new generation K5 is basically the landing price, and the selling price from 161800 also includes full purchase tax and commercial insurance with a quota of 5000 yuan. in a word, it can give a discount of about 20, 000 yuan on the basis of the starting price.

After a period of market trough, Korean cars obviously have a new market plan to try again. The traditional advantages have been further deepened, and since it has in fact formed a direct confrontation with the independent brand, then treat the independent brand as a real competitor. After further lowering the figure, you will find that compared with independent car companies, Korean cars not only have brand advantages, but also have the upper hand in technology accumulation.

Or take the 10th generation Sonata and the new generation K5 as examples, both new cars use a new platform that represents the highest standard of Hyundai Group. In March 2019, Hyundai Kia Group officially released a new GMP platform, which officially opened the curtain of technological innovation of Hyundai Kia Group. Further subdivided, GMP platform is divided into i-GMP fuel platform and e-GMP new energy platform. The tenth generation Sonata and the new generation K5 are new cars based on the i-GMP platform, which are optimized in terms of design, safety, power, handling and so on. More importantly, facing the future, the new e-GMP new energy platform will continue to develop. According to Hyundai Kia's plan, 16 pure electric models will be launched at the group level by 2025, and it can be predicted that Korean cars will also accelerate the transformation of electrification. In the domestic market, there has always been talk of relying on new energy vehicles to achieve corner overtaking, and the successive introduction of new electric cars may also bring new possibilities for Korean cars to revive the Chinese market.

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