Asian But Not Japanese: Car Brands from China and Korea
Written By: Sean
March 23, 2015
Toyota, Mitsubishi, Honda, Nissan, Mazda – these car brands may be distinct from one another, but they share a few things in common: they’re Japanese, they’re well-known, and they make good machines. And since they’re popular almost everywhere you go, it’s easy to find spare parts for them, like radiators and u-bolts.
However, there are companies based in Asian countries other than Japan that produce great hot rides as well. Though these brands may not be as popular as those previously mentioned, they’re nevertheless starting to catch up with their Japanese counterparts. Here are a few Chinese and Korean car brands that are starting to pick up momentum.
Just because a car has an H in its logo doesn’t mean it’s always a Honda. If it’s slanted to the right, it’s a Hyundai, a South Korean car brand that was founded in 1967 and whose HQ is in Seoul, South Korea. From its home country, the company began selling cars in other countries like the US, China, and of course, the Philippines.
In the country, Hyundai is not just the current third top-selling automotive brand; it’s also the fastest-growing. It may seem like a surprising development to a lot of people, but with superb models like the convenient hatchback Hyundai Getz, the smooth Hyundai Accent and Sonata sedans, and the big and spacious Santa Fe SUV and Grand Starex van, it should’ve been an expected progress.
According to Kia Motors, the name of their company is derived from the Sino-Korean term “ki,” which means to come out, and “a,” which stands for Asia. And true to their name, the car brand is extending its reach from its base of operations in the east and towards western continents like Europe and America.
Locally, the brand currently is well-known and will likely remain that way for a long time, thanks to their rather impressive models. In their lineup, you can find car that suit people’s varying lifestyles: the Soul and Picanto hatchbacks for those with small families and parking spaces, the Rio and Optima sedans for those who want speed and elegance, and their wide selection of SUVs – the Carens, Carnival, Sportage, and Sorento – for those who either have big families or just want to drive big.
You’ve probably been seeing this relatively new car company coming from the one of the world’s fastest-growing economies – China – more and more often. However, you’re might not be paying much attention to it either because of the already-established brand names in the country or the usual stigma associated towards products that came from China.
If so, then you’d be be astounded to find out that this state-owned company has been making waves in its hometown and will be doing the same thing in the Philippines soon enough. Thanks to its cheap but elegant and efficient models like the simplistic QQ3 and the sporty Fulwin 2, the big and tough Tiggo, and the convenient and spacious Q22L van, a good future for the brand can become a reality.
A lot of good cars have indeed come from Japan. However, with the great performance of cars made by Hyundai, Kia, and Chery, the land of the rising sun is in for some neighborly competition.