Last year's sales of sports utility vehicles (SUVs) grew about two times in six years by exceeding 400,000 units.
According to the automobile industry on Jan. 15, 407,880 SUVs were sold last year. The sales surged two times larger in six years, since 208,000 SUVs were sold in 2008.
SUVs include sport utility vehicles and minivans, which are becoming remarkably popular these days due to a change in lifestyle and the boom of leisure.
By company, Kia Motors ranked first by selling 142,169 SUVs due to launches of new models including the New Carnival and Sorento models, followed by Hyundai Motor (132,801 units), Ssangyong Motor (66,339 units), GM Korea (39,433 units), and Renault Samsung Motors (27,138 units).
The sales of SUVs, which reached a peak in 2002 at 520,784 units due to the tax privileges of seven-seater vehicles and new model effects, was reduced to about 200,000 units in 2008. However, sales are currently growing sharply due to the launch of lots of diverse new models every year, including the Orlando of GM Korea in 2011, new Santa Fe model of Hyundai Motor in 2012, Korando Turismo of Ssangyong Motor in 2013, and the New Carnival model of Kia Motors in 2014.
As a result, the SUV ranks first in sales by automobile size (except for commercial vehicles) last year with 33.6 percent (the SUV with 27.5 percent and the minivan with 6.1 percent), except for Ssangyong Motor Company.
The automobile industry expects the sales of SUVs to increase more, as new small SUV models launch this year.