Hyundai, Kia enjoy renewed popularity of LPG trucks Porter, Bongo

Kia’s LPG-powered 1-ton truck Bongo Turbo

Today, many economists are proclaiming weak economic conditions in the coming months. But an economic slowdown isn’t all that bad for Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Corp., which are enjoying a revival of their small trucks.

Hyundai Transys Co., a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Group that produces auto parts such as transmissions and axles, began additional work beyond usual restrictions in mid-February, according to industry sources.

In Korea, employees of large companies are not allowed to work more than 52 hours per week. However, with the consent of the employees and the approval of the Ministry of Labor, companies can ask them to work an additional twelve hours per week for up to three months if an exceptional case arises, such as a sudden increase in product demand or short-term R&D -requests.

A Hyundai Transys official said employees from divisions that produce automatic transmissions for the 1-ton liquefied petroleum gas-powered trucks manufactured by Hyundai Motor and Kia, the two automakers of South Korea’s largest automaker, Hyundai Motor Group.

The compact Hyundai Porter truck

Employees are currently working up to 64 hours a week – the first overtime since the global auto parts shortage caused by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic two years ago.

SLOW EV SALES

“Due to slow sales of electric cars, demand for combustion engine vehicles is increasing again. So we are also busy producing transmissions. Demand is expected to rise more rapidly in the second half of this year given the economic slowdown,” a spokesperson said. Hyundai Transys official.

From February 1, new LPG Hyundai Porter buyers will have to wait four months before receiving the ordered vehicles. Up to three months for deliveries of the new LPG Kia Bongo, according to Hyundai Motor Group.

“Last month, half of new car purchase requests were for the Porter. Some visitors, knowing they cannot buy a new car right away, are turning to the used car market to buy small trucks,” said a Hyundai Motor dealer in Seoul.

The compact Kia Bongo truck

According to Seoul-based automotive data provider CarIsYou, the Hyundai Porter and Kia Bongo sold 11,070 units and 6,393 units respectively in Korea’s used car market last month.

These figures put the duo in first and second place, followed by the compact sedan Kia Morning, which sold 3,950 units.

END OF THE DIESEL CAR ERA

Last November, Hyundai and Kia stopped producing diesel-powered compact trucks and replaced them with LPG-powered cars, in line with the industry’s shift towards eco-friendly vehicles.

Instead, automakers started building the same models with a next-generation 2.5-liter LPG-powered T-LPDi turbo engine, or making them fully electric.

Diesel vehicles are withdrawing from the car market due to stricter environmental regulations

The two pickups have been widely used by delivery services in Korea for twenty years. Production of the 1-ton Kia Bongo diesel model with automatic transmission – one of the most popular cars – was stopped back on July 14.

Diesel vehicles are withdrawing from the car market due to stricter environmental regulations.

Under the government’s tightened environmental rules, delivery services were not allowed to register new diesel vehicles from January.

The government is providing up to 9 million won ($6,757) in subsidies for those who switch from diesel cars to LPG vehicles.

The cessation of production of the compact diesel trucks is also in line with stricter Euro 7 emissions regulations, Hyundai Motor Group said.

Write to Nan-Sae Bin at binthere@hankyung.com
In-Soo Nam edited this article.

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