Most Selling Korean Car Brands.
Korean Car Brands. When it comes to the automotive industry, North Korea stayed limited to making military, commercial, and private cars. On the contrary, South Korea does not just manufacture cars for its people but for global use.
South Korea has many advanced technologies and upgrades everything to keep up with the growing global market demands. So, the country made sure the vehicles it manufacturers contain the same advanced technology and are accessible.
It is one of the many reasons South Korea became the fifth largest car manufacturing country and the sixth country in the scale of export units. Korean car brands are now known globally for their astounding performance and design.
Korean Car Brands And Their Logos.
Korean Car Brands. The Korean automobile industry began its journey in 1955. Korean Car Brands.
It was started by a Korean businessman named Choi Mu-Seong and his two brothers.
They added a modified jeep engine in an American jeep-style car body with parts from military junk jeeps to make their new car.
Later, the South Korean Government took over their small company Sibal and helped it flourish. The country’s automobile industry flourished from there and crossed many milestones over the years. So today, I will talk about the top car brands of Korea and introduce you to their logos.
Founder: Unification Church Founded In: 1999 Website:www.pyeonghwamotors.com
In Korea, the word Pyeonghwa means peace. That is why Pyeonghwa Motors is often referred to as Peace Motors. It is one of the two Korean car brands that has joined venture with North Korea. This is why the logo bears two pigeons to represent peace between the two countries.
The Unification Church founded it in 1999. It was when the sanction between North Korea and South Korea was not so strict. The brand manufactures small cars and SUVs.
The manufacturing number is relatively quiet in North Korea as most of its people cannot afford a car. So even though the country can produce around 10,000 cars a year, the number is only 300 to 400 cars per year. In 2013, North Korea fully owned the brand.
And now, Peace Motor is a mass car production brand that manufactures and sells passenger cars, SUVs, pickups, and mid-sized vans. The brand has the required potential to export to foreign countries.
Founder: Chung Ju-Yung
Founded In: 1967
Korean Car Brands. Hyundai is the largest car manufacturing company in South Korea and the most recognized Korean car brand around the world. It is also the 11th largest car brand in the world.
Originally founded in 1947 by Chung Ju-Yung, Hyundai started operating as an engineering and construction company. But in 1967, it became the Hyundai Motor Company and gained immense popularity among Korean people for making various types of cars.
From passenger cars, sports cars, SUVs, and sedans to luxury cars, Hyundai has earned its name and fame for the quality it provides. Another reason behind its worldwide success is the mass production it has.
Hyundai manufactures around one and half million vehicles annually, which explains how massive the brand’s market demand is. In 2013, the company won the title of the fourth largest car manufacturing brand by going ahead of Nissan, Honda, and Ford. And you must know that Hyundai manufactures 1.6 million cars per year and sells vehicles in almost 200 countries worldwide, employing more than 80,000 people. The brand’s logo is an H, but the design makes it look like a curved N. The logo represents respect, trust, and bond because it is often explained as two people shaking hands.
Founder: Kim Chul Ho
Founded In: 1944
Kim Chul Ho founded Kia to manufacture nuts and bolts for bicycles. But he was in Japan at the time but set up the business in Osaka in 1944, after returning to Korea.
He named the company Kyungsung Precision Industry and it manufactured steel tubing and bicycle parts. But the following year, he moved the company outside of Seoul and changed the name to Kia. under the brand’s name, Korea got its very first bicycle in 1952.
It was not until 1974 Kia introduced its first passenger car called Kia Brisa. The company did not need to look back and operated smoothly for many years until it suffered from a financial crisis in 1997. Then in 1998, it signed a partnership with Hyundai and did not stop after that.
Then it manufactured the Kia K131 under the Government’s command, and it turned out to be one of Kia’s many successful models. Since then, the company has introduced many notable models and sponsored various significant sports events.
Now, Kia is the second largest car manufacturing brand in Korea, after Hyundai. And it manufactures around 1.4 million unit vehicles per year.
Founder: General Motors
Founded In: 2002
GM Korea is a subsidiary of the American car manufacturing giant General Motors. You may already know that General Motors has the most plants around the globe and manufactures vehicles of various brands. GM Korea works in the very same way.
Naturally, this is one of the popular Korean car brands and manufacturers a vast quantity of vehicles every year. It has four plants in Korea and can produce 9.2 million finished cars and 1.4 million engines. Moreover, GM Korea designed cars for famous brands from foreign countries like the United States, America, China, Germany, India, Australia, etc. GM Korea sells cars in more than 150 markets on 6 continents. After the other famous Korean car brand, Daewoo, split from its parent company in 2001. Then GM Korea took over it. General Motors company’s luxury car models are also available in Korea.
Founder: Kim Woo-Jung
Founded In: 1967
Website:www.daewoomotor.com Daewoo was originally founded in 1937 as National Motors. But the company did not manufacture cars during that time. It went through several changes and got the name Saenara Motors in 1962. Shinjin Motors bought the company after collaborating with Toyota and named it Shinjin Motors in 1964. But then, in 1967, the company got its final name, the Daewoo Group. The company operated with GM Motors for several years.
But due to 1997’s financial collapse, the company began losing its market grip and announced bankruptcy. Then in 2002, GM Korea bought the company, and it began operating as a division under GM Korea as Daewoo.
The Daewoo Lacetti was the first Daewoo vehicle under GM Korea, and it was a huge success. The company now manufactures passenger cars, buses, vans, etc.
Founded In: 1954 Website:www.smotor.com
The word SsangYong means a pair of dragons or double dragons. That is why the logo of this brand looks like two dragons with spread wings. The history of the company is old and long and also very interesting.
It was originally started as two different companies named Ha Dong-hwan Motor Workshop (founded in 1954) and Dongbang Motor Co (founded in 1962). But in the mid-1963s, the two companies came together and became Ha Dong-hwan Motor Co.
It started manufacturing buses and trucks and jeeps for the US Military. Even around early 1976, Ha Dong-hwan Motor Co manufactured many special vehicles. But in 1986, another Korean company named SsangYong Business Group took over Ha Dong-hwan Motor Co. So the company changed its name to its parent company at the time and became SsangYong Motor in 1988. In 1991, the company began manufacturing SUVs after signing a partnership with the famous Mercedes-Benz. Again, the company was acquired by Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. in 2011, after some financial difficulties.
Renault Samsung Motors.
Founded In: 1994
Before the company became Renault Samsung Motors, it was just Samsung Motors. The chaebol Samsung founded this company in 1994, and the company’s technical assistance was Nissan. It kept on selling cars until the Asian financial crisis hit in 1998.
The company was on the verge of collapsing but was rescued by the famous French car brand Renault. So in 2000, Renault took over, and Samsung Motors became the Renault Samsung Motors or RSM.
Now, it is one of the popular Korean car brands that manufactures luxury cars, electric cars, and crossovers. The SM5 was one of its first successful models. After that, the company launched several other popular cars like SM3, SM7, and QM5.
Founder: Lee Mun-hwan
Founded In: 1965
Website: Not Available.
Asia Motors is no longer an active automobile manufacturing brand. But it used to be one of the excellent Korean car brands during its active years.
This car manufacturing company was established in 1965 by Lee Mun-hwan. Now, Lee Mun-hwan was not exactly the founder. But the company would not have happened without his financial support.
The company began its production work and built trucks, buses, and military vehicles. It also kept on making lightweight jeeps and cars.
Asia Motors began suffering losses after 1973 after the Government launched the plan to introduce low-cost cars. This car manufacturing company could not meet the Government’s plan.
So in 1974, after it lost its assembly permit, Kia purchased the company. But after Hyundai purchased Kia Motors, Asia Motors came to an end in 1999.
Founder: Han-Chul Kim
Founded In: 1997
This Korean car brand came to life after a former designer and a former researcher from two famous Korean car brands came together. Han-Chul Kim was a designer at SsangYong company during the mid-1990s.
But Han-Chul Kim had a passion for pursuing his career with a car brand of his own. So he decided to quit his job and founded Proto Motors with his wife. His wife used to work as a researcher at Asia Motors.
The company redesigned existing car models and transformed them into electric and convertible vehicles. It even manufactured a convertible limousine for South Korea’s president’s residence in 2001.
Unfortunately, the company was discontinued after the Oullim Group acquired it in 2017. Now, it works under the new company and operates as Oullim Motors.
Founder: Hyundai Motor Group Founded In: 2015 Website:www.genesis.com
Genesis was not a standalone car manufacturing brand. It was founded in 2015 by the Hyundai Motor Group as a subdivision and launched Hyundai Genesis sedans. But then, in 2017, the company launched the first standalone car model, the Genesis G90.
It did not take long for the brand to get recognition because of the eye-catching models. And in a matter of a few years, Genesis became a new car manufacturing brand, separated from Hyundai. Other than Korea, this brand now sells cars in Russia, North America, and the Middle East.
Founder: Young Gi Lee, Joseph J. White Founded In: 2002 Website:www.ctntunited.com
Did you know that this company is the world’s largest automotive company to manufacture battery-powered electric vehicles? That’s right! This South Korean was founded only two decades ago in 2002 and has already earned global success and fame. It even has a regional sales and assembly system in the USA. The company plans to increase its production unit numbers in the coming years.
Founder: GM Korea
Founded In: 2010
The last one I have for my Korean car brands list is Alpheon. It is a short-lived car brand but definitely the one worth mentioning. GM Korea established it as a car model. The brand manufactured only one model between 2010 to 2015.
This Korean brand was named from the Greek word alpha, with the term eon. Alpha stands for the first and the finest, and the term eon means eternity.
The Korean automotive industry is not among the oldest ones in the world. Not all companies are famous or stayed long in the business. But the best Korean car brands are still recognized by people and making moves toward the global market. You will find many car models with mid to high price ranges in Korea. So, if you want to check out some outstanding car brands from Korea, you have many options.