BUSAN, July 14 (Korea Bizwire) — Once touted as touchpoints where the auto industry congregated to promote new vehicles and technologies, South Korea’s traditional auto shows are on the decline and in need of an overhaul as more automakers are turning to electrification.
In recent years, global auto shows have been canceled, scaled down or moved online only due to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as automakers’ electrification push.
“Automakers are increasingly turning to non-automotive shows such as the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) or other avenues to promote their electric vehicles. They choose to introduce new electric vehicles through online channels or at their own promotional events,” Jeong Marn-ki, president of the Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association (KAMA), told Yonhap News Agency by phone.
In January, many automakers attended CES 2022 in Las Vegas to showcase a number of new EVs and EV concepts.
Hyundai Motor Group participated in the tech fair with the concept of “metamobility”, where robotic devices interact with humans to provide a variety of mobility services.
The metamobility vision is in line with Hyundai’s goal of transforming into an “intelligent mobility solutions provider” focused on autonomous driving technologies, electric vehicles, urban air mobility (UAM) and battery systems hydrogen fuel.
The automotive industry is experiencing a paradigm shift with the advent of electrification. Automakers are in talks with auto show organizing committees to seek changes in auto shows, according to the Korea Association of Automobile Importers and Distributors (KAIDA).
South Korea holds two major biannual auto shows: the Seoul Mobility Show and the Busan International Auto Show. The Seoul show took place late last year and the Busan show returned this week after some delays amid the pandemic.
This year, only six brands from two automakers – Hyundai Motor Group and BMW Group Korea – participated in the Busan Motor Show. The brands are Hyundai, Kia and Genesis from the South Korean automaker and BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce from the German automaker.
That number fell from 19 brands introduced by 11 automakers at the 2018 show in the southern port city of Busan.
Officials and industry experts said existing exhibitions focused on combustion engines will ultimately find no place due to the global shift to electric vehicles and the high cost of attendance.
Domestic automakers said they had little reason to attend an auto show, as it costs between 1 and 3 billion won ($760,000 to $2.3 million).
“For their overseas counterparts, South Korea is a small market with annual sales of 1.8 million vehicles unlike China, the world’s largest auto market. Therefore, global brands pay less attention to Korean trade shows,” said KAMA Chairman Jeong.
Hyundai Motor chose to unveil the IONIQ 6, the second dedicated EV model integrated into Hyundai Motor Group’s electric-only EV Global Modular Platform (E-GMP), during an online press conference on Wednesday ahead of the show. of Busan which will take place from July 15th. -24.
Three other local automakers – GM Korea Co., Renault Korea Motors and SsangYong Motor Co. – have decided not to attend the show this year due to cost concerns and lower demand for their products in the market. interior.
“The combined market share of the three automakers in the Korean passenger vehicle market is only 10%. So they don’t need to attend local shows. On the contrary, they should support their parent companies (General Motors Co., Renault SA and Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd.) by exporting as many vehicles as possible,” an auto executive said on condition of anonymity.
A continued global shortage of chips is another hurdle for automakers. They don’t feel the need for marketing at an auto show because they can’t produce the vehicles ordered and deliver them on time, he said.
To maintain the existing shows, industry officials have asked the auto show committees to change the mode of exhibition by bringing together different sectors such as chipmakers, UAM companies, robotics manufacturers, startups with advanced mobility technologies.
“Among the possible options are the organization of a digital car show to give customers easier access to auto shows or a permanent exhibition to promote their new models throughout the year. year,” Kim Tae-nyen, president of mirae Mobility research & services (m.More), said.
Additionally, several local auto shows, including a hydrogen mobility show and an electric vehicle show, are to be integrated into one focused on electric vehicles and related future mobility solutions, said Kim.
In recent years, big name absences have become commonplace at global auto shows such as the LA Auto Show and the International Auto Show (IAA), formerly known as the Auto Show. Frankfurt automobile, for the same reasons.
To go beyond the automotive industry, the Frankfurt Motor Show has rebranded itself as the IAA, and the Tokyo Motor Show will return next year under the new name Japan All-Industry show.
“We are in close consultation with automakers to reflect the drastic changes taking place in the auto industry at auto shows,” said Lee Ta-sik, President and CEO of Busan Exhibition & Convention Center (BEXCO ).
“We recently commissioned a consulting firm to do an analysis of current Korean auto shows and provide steps to revise them in a positive direction,” he said.