Thursday, August 02, 2007
Korea's Other Carmaker: Pyeonghwa Motors
Many of you are familiar with South Korea's five car domestic automakers—Hyundai, Kia, GM-Daewoo, Ssangyong, and Samsung Renault.
Did you know there was another domestic automaker?
Pyeonghwa (Peace) Motors was the first South Korean automaker to establish a joint venture car company in North Korea.
Reverend Sun Myung Moon who is better known for his once questionable religious activities in the U.S. owns Pyeonghwa Motors. With the Sunshine Policy of the early 2000s and the opening of North Korea to select South Korean business ventures, Moon formed a company that teamed up with Italian Fiat and North Korean state-owned Ryonbong Corporation. In 2002, a new assembly plant was opened in Nampo near Pyongyang.
When the Fiat assembly operation failed to make money, Pyeonghwa Motors looked to China for a new partner.
Dandong Shuguang became the selected partner and in 2004 the Cuckoo series was unveiled. Two models were launched, the Cuckoo 2 a SUV, and Cuckoo 3 a pickup truck.
Pyeonghwa Motors currently manufactures six types of cars including SUVs, a pick-up, sedans, and mini-buses.
Production Numbers… :)
Last year, the carmaker sold about 700 vehicles in the North Korea. This comes as no suprise with the North's fuel shortages, etc.
A New Development...
It was recently announced that Pyeonghwa Motors would now offer a line of trucks. Sales are further expected to rise to a thousand units a year when the trucks hit the market.
BTW In Contrast, South Korea's Hyundai, Kia, GM-Daewoo, Ssangyong, and Renault Samsung domestically produced 3.94 million cars in 2006.