Future of Asian luxury, electric cars at auto show

Hyundai Motor's Grandeur Hybrid vehicle. (AP Photo)Hyundai Motor’s Grandeur Hybrid vehicle. 
GOYANG, South Korea: South Korea’s largest auto show provides a look at the future of Asian premium cars and electric vehicles, as well as efforts by Asian auto and tech companies to catch up in the field of autonomous driving.

The biennial Seoul Motor Show opens Friday in Goyang, north of Seoul, for a 10-day run. There are 243 vehicles on display. Two are making their world premieres: Hyundai Motor’s Grandeur hybrid electric vehicle and Ssangyong Motor’s G4 Rexton sports utility vehicle. Eighteen others are making their Asian debuts.

Although usually smaller than auto shows in Frankfurt, Detroit or Shanghai, the Seoul Motor Show is nonetheless a place to read auto trends and consumer tastes among trend-setting, tech-savvy consumers in the world’s most populous continent.

This year’s highlight is Kia Motor’s first luxury sports sedan, Stinger, which launches a new era for premium sports cars built in South Korea, home to the world’s fifth-largest automotive group. Growing interest in environmentally friendly cars among South Koreans will be in the spotlight as well.

The show is missing Volkswagen and Audi, after South Korea halted sales last summer of dozens of their diesel car models for using software to cheat emission tests.