Feature: 2005 Seoul Motor Show car history and auto shows
Audi A4 rear view

Feature: 2005 Seoul Motor Show car history and auto shows
Piemonte Region (Italy) Design

Feature: 2005 Seoul Motor Show car history and auto shows
Daewoo truck

Feature: 2005 Seoul Motor Show car history and auto shows
Kia Bongo

Feature: 2005 Seoul Motor Show car history and auto shows
Carcerano Triagmos (Italy)

Feature: 2005 Seoul Motor Show car history and auto shows
Ssangyong Chairman

Feature: 2005 Seoul Motor Show car history and auto shows
Journalists rush for press kits

Feature: 2005 Seoul Motor Show car history and auto shows
Daewoo Matiz

Story and photos by Paul Williams

Seoul, South Korea – In Canada you’re either a Ford guy or a Chevy guy; you like SVTs or SRTs; Hondas or Toyotas; M Power or AMG, and the list goes on.

But in Korea it’s Hyundai or Kia, or maybe Ssangyong if you want to be different. Take a look at the roads there, and you’ll see that nearly all of the cars are Korean. Hyundai and Kia vehicles account for 70 per cent of the traffic, with other Korean brands like Sssangyong, GM-Daewoo and Renault Samsung adding 27 per cent. Only three per cent of vehicles originate abroad, often represented by luxury brands like BMW, Lexus and Mercedes-Benz. If you really want to stand out in Seoul, buy a Ford.

Korea is the world’s fifth-largest manufacturer of vehicles, and it’s not surprising that the country’s international motor show should aim for increased importance in the Asian and global marketplace. This year, the fifth biennial Seoul Motor Show opened to the public on April 30 at the brand-new Kintex exhibition centre in Goyang City, just north of Seoul.

This is the first time the show has used the massive 53,541 square-metre Kintex facility, which enables all the vehicles, along with suppliers of accessories and auto parts, to be accommodated on one floor.

Unlike North American shows, the Seoul Motor Show covers the full range of passenger and commercial vehicles, including cars, motorcycles, trucks and buses.

This year, the show attracted 179 automotive exhibitors, including 38 automobile manufacturers. A total of 211 vehicles were on display, and the show is believed to have attracted one million visitors.

As one would expect, the Seoul Motor Show featured the full array and a preponderance of Korean vehicles, although considerable space was allotted to foreign brands attempting to increase their Asian market share. This marked the first year since 1997 that the Seoul Motor Show included exhibits from both Korean and foreign brands.

Along with the luxury brands already mentioned, Volkswagen, Volvo, Cadillac, Saab, Infiniti, Audi, Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge, Mini, Peugeot, Volvo/Jaguar/Land Rover, Ford, Lincoln and Honda exhibited versions of their North American, European and Japanese models. The Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Corvette were of particular interest to visitors who were eagerly photographing the cars and the beautiful models sitting on them.

Special events at this year’s show included an international forum on Korea-China-Japan’s auto industry, an international seminar on car design, an exhibition of winning designs from a nationwide competition, test drives of 4WD vehicles on the outdoor Jeep test structure and the award for the Seoul Motor Show’s Best Car.

The organizing committee expects the Seoul Motor Show to become one of the world’s top five auto shows alongside the shows held in Frankfurt, Paris, Detroit and Tokyo.

Feature: 2005 Seoul Motor Show car history and auto shows
Kia JB Sport
Feature: 2005 Seoul Motor Show car history and auto shows
Kia Pride (Reo) five-door
Feature: 2005 Seoul Motor Show car history and auto shows
Kia KCV-4 (Mojave) concept truck
Feature: 2005 Seoul Motor Show car history and auto shows
Honda Odyssey (Japan market)
Feature: 2005 Seoul Motor Show car history and auto shows
Hyundai HCT 6×2 Concept truck
Feature: 2005 Seoul Motor Show car history and auto shows
Ssangyong Concept
Feature: 2005 Seoul Motor Show car history and auto shows
Hyundai Buses
Feature: 2005 Seoul Motor Show car history and auto shows
Carcerano Triagmos
Feature: 2005 Seoul Motor Show car history and auto shows
New Kia VQ minivan
Feature: 2005 Seoul Motor Show car history and auto shows
Entrance to Seoul Motor Show




About Paul Williams

Paul Williams is an Ottawa-based freelance automotive writer and senior writer for Autos. He is a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC).