Now South Korea Is Telling US Automakers To Build Better Cars


Apparently American cars lack of sophistication.

Barring China, a country known for having multiple automakers shielded by the government that build cars of subpar quality and at times, dubiously recognizable designs, most Asian countries aren’t huge fans of American cars. Not too long ago, President Trump decried the Japanese for not buying enough American cars even though Americans buy swaths of Japanese cars. To that, Japan responded, “build better cars.” Well now it’s South Korea’s turn to decry American automakers for lack of attractive options.

According to Reuters, Trump’s recent attempts to renegotiate a trade agreement with South Korea has brought an old question to surface. Namely, why aren’t Koreans buying more American cars when Americans buy so many Korean cars? The answer, according to an anonymous Korean government official, is that the US doesn’t build cars that Koreans want. The official began by beating around the bush, touching on the subject of non-tariff trade barriers. "Addressing non-tariff barriers would not fundamentally raise the competitiveness of U.S. cars,” they said before telling Reuters what they actually wanted to say. "What we really want to say to the United States is: make good cars, make cars that Korean consumers like.”

You Might Also Like
This Is What Kia Should Do To Create A Sportier Forte
This Is What Kia Should Do To Create A Sportier Forte
Can't Afford The 2019 BMW 8 Series? Here Are 8 Cheaper Super Coupes
Can't Afford The 2019 BMW 8 Series? Here Are 8 Cheaper Super Coupes

To be fair, American cars have been getting better and Korean consumers have taken notice. Last year, imports from Detroit’s big three to Korea doubled. Unfortunately, they still make up a measly 1% of the Korean market while imports from other countries, mainly Germany, account for 15% of the overall market. Korean car buyers tend to opt for premium German brands like Mercedes and BMW when purchasing imports, but the market is largely dominated by Hyundai and Kia. The largest problem American automakers have to conquer is perception. US car brands are seen as less sophisticated and not as fuel efficient as their competitors. However, American automakers do have the edge when it comes to electric vehicles.

For that we can thank the Tesla Model S and Chevrolet Bolt. Despite the fact that American automakers complain about trade barriers—such as a regulation that sets a quota allowing for no more than 25,000 cars from each American automaker to be sold in Korea without adhering to Korean safety standards (no American automaker sells enough to get close to that cap)— the only thing that will bolster sales of American cars in Korea is better quality. "Upgrading their vehicles and meet the luxurious taste of consumers is more important than complaining about non-tariff barriers," said Kim Pil-soo, a professor of engineering at Daelim University College near Seoul. Are you listening GM, Ford, and FCA?

Fake Lamborghini Murcielago SV Reverse-Engineered By Iran

The Chinese couldn’t have done it better.

Hennessey Trackhawk Is World's Quickest SUV

That's what a thousand horsepower will do for ya.

5 Things You Need To Know About The 2019 BMW X5

After driving the car for the first time, here are our key takeaways.

Watch The BMW M2 Competition Lap The Ring In 7:52

That was supercar territory not long ago.

Kim Jong-un Gets Classy With New Ride

So much for sanctions.

Drifting A 1,000-HP Corvette On Mountain Roads Takes Some Serious Skill

Thought drifting the entire Nurburgring was challenging? Try it in a 1,000-hp Corvette on a mountain road with no safety rails.

Hennessey Heritage Edition Ford Truck Makes More Power Than Anything You’ve Got

This crazy beast is even more powerful than the Ford GT.

Ford Imagines A Future With No Traffic Lights

Stopping at junctions could be a thing of the past in the future.

One-Off Ferrari 330GT Speciale Is A 50-Year-Old Dream Come True

This stunning coachbuilding project is a tribute to legendary Italian designer Giovanni Michelotti.

What's Hot