GM Korea is confident that its new flagship Impala sedan will outshine vehicles produced by Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors, according to the automaker’s marketing chief, who says at least 1,200 Impalas will be sold monthly from September.
During a test drive event at South Cape Owners Club in Namhae, South Gyeongsang Province, Saturday, Marc Comeau, GM Korea vice president in sales and marketing, said the Impala would be a huge hit among Korean motorists seeking to drive premium sedans at affordable prices.
“I believe that the Chevrolet Impala will be well received by local customers simply because it offers more than what other vehicles in the full-size sedan segment do,” Comeau said.
“We have so far received 2,000 pre-orders and the number will likely reach 5,000 by Sept. 1 when we officially introduce it.”
He said the Impala, assembled in and imported from the United States, offered greater value than its rivals, such as Hyundai Motor’s Grandeur and Aslan, and Kia Motors’ K7, stressing that the all-American vehicle had more features that Korean motorists wanted.
“The Impala has head-turning design, a comfortable and roomy interior, powerful performance and advanced safety features,” he said. “This has enabled the car to attract millions of Americans for decades.
“To better serve Korean customers, the Impala sold here has locally tailored features, such as power-folding side mirrors, an electronic toll-collecting system, rain-sensing wipers, standardized navigation, a 220V power outlet, rear audio controls and heated rear seats.”
The tenth-generation Impala comes with either a 2.5-liter or a 3.6-liter engine.
Corneau said that on top of the sedan’s powerful performance and convenient features, its prices were very attractive.
Prices range from 34.09 million won ($29,413) to 41.91 million won, depending on options and trims. The price is about 3 to 5 million won lower than in the U.S.
The vice president then said GM Korea, the Korean unit of U.S. auto giant General Motors (GM), would consider producing the Impala locally, instead of importing from the U.S.
“We first need to check how the car fares with local consumers,” he said. “If sales exceed our expectations, we will begin talking about local production. But it is too early to do that at the moment.”
Asked what other vehicles GM Korea would import from the U.S., Comeau said the carmaker might import more fully assembled cars if the Impala was a success.
“You should be asking what sports utility vehicles (SUVs) we would bring into Korea,” he said, indicating that GM wanted to capitalize on Korea’s rapidly growing SUV segment, which Hyundai and Kia dominate. GM offers 16 SUV models in the U.S.
“But it is too early to discuss what that may be,” he said. “For now, we would like to turn the Impala into the bestselling vehicle.”
Comeau also said the carmaker would launch a large-scale test drive campaign, dubbed “Drive Chevrolet,” by mobilizing more than 2,000 vehicles from September to October.
“Nearly one in every two Korean consumers purchases vehicles without a test drive,” he said. “We would like to change that. If motorists test drive our Chevrolet brands, they will know we produce good cars.”
As well as the Impala, consumers can test drive the new Spark, new Trax compact SUV and other Chevrolet models at 300 GM dealerships across the country.