February 16, 2019

Automotive experts urge Korean carmakers to diversify

PUBLISHED : March 13, 2018 - 16:00

UPDATED : March 27, 2018 - 17:18

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[THE INVESTOR] The Korean Society of Automotive Engineers, a nonprofit academic institution of engineers and experts, said on March 13 that the domestic automobile industry needs to diversify to meet future demands.

“Korea carmakers have reached the No. 5 position in the global market, but we can no longer use the fast-follower strategy to compete overseas,” Lee Jong-hwa, vice president of KSAE, said during a seminar on vehicle technology and related policy development roadmap in Seoul. “This is why predicting future demand of the industry and forming diversified plans are crucial.”

During the seminar six professors in auto fields explained about different types of vehicles, including diesel, electric and hydroelectric cars.

KSAE said although eco-friendly cars like EVs and hydroelectric cars are recently grabbing the industry’s attention, they will not replace gasoline and diesel cars soon.

“We predict that by 2030, more than 80 percent of drivers will still be using gasoline cars.” Min Kyeong-duk, a Seoul National University professor said. “Moreover European car makers will not give up diesel cars instantly. Even Volkswagen is still developing diesel engines.”

Although the institution believes that the recent trend will remain for a while, the professors also emphasized the importance of support for research and development of future cars like electric, hydroelectric and autonomous vehicles.

“Advanced countries have already established hydroelectric vehicle charger stations on highways, but in Korea there are hardly any. More of this kind of infrastructure has to be put in place,” said Kim Min-soo, a Seoul University professor, who gave a presentation on hydroelectric vehicles.

Participants in the seminar included senior KSAE officials and close to 30 other experts in the field.

By Song Seung-hyun (

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