A hatchback with the rear door open upwards without distinction between the trunk and the rear seat. It is highly preferred in the European market due to its unique loadability and practicality. It is a vehicle commonly found on European roads, mainly in small hatchbacks of B segments such as Volkswagen Golf and Renault Clio.
But what about the Korean market? In the domestic market, the hatchback is considered to be a non-popular model, as it makes a funny sound called’Hatchback’s Tomb’. In particular, in recent years, the strength of small sports utility vehicles (SUVs) is gradually losing ground. On the one hand, it is a compulsory limit that must be accepted, but on the other hand, it also has the hope that the moment will shine someday.
Looking at the main models
First, Veloster and Veloster N. The semi-mid-size hatchback coupe model produced by Hyundai Motor since 2011. In 2018, Veloster N, the flagship model of the high-performance N brand, was added. Based on the 2020 Veloster N, the Powertrain combines a 2.0 gasoline turbo engine and an 8-speed wet double clutch transmission (DCT) to achieve a maximum output of 275 hp and a maximum torque of 36.0 kg*m.
In addition, the K3 GT 5-door released in Korea in 2018. The high-performance hatchback version of the second-generation K3 is equipped with a turbo engine to enhance not only practicality but also driving performance. The overall sharp coupe-like image was emphasized, and the angle of the pillar connecting the vehicle body to the roof was gently applied. The powertrain combines a 1.6 gasoline turbo and a 7-speed automatic (DCT) to achieve a maximum output of 204 hp and a maximum torque of 27.0 kg*m.
Clio last year
I30 domestic discontinued this year
Meanwhile, as the demand for the domestic hatchback market decreased, Renault Samsung ended its domestic sale of small hatchback clio last year. The young and sensual design and practicality continued to be popular in the European market, but the results were not successful in Korea. It is vying for sales with Volkswagen Golf in Europe, and a fifth-generation Clio model that has been fully changed (completely changed) in the past seven years has been released.
In addition, in May, Hyundai Motor’s representative semi-mid-size hatchback i30 model was discontinued in Korea. However, overseas sales, such as Europe, continue to continue, and since the first generation in 2007, more than 1 million units have been sold in the European market. It has evolved until the 3rd generation in 2016 and will release a 3rd generation facelift (partial change) model in overseas markets such as Europe in the second half of this year.
Decreasing hatchback options
In fact, there are several reasons why hatchbacks are not selling well in Korea. The main reason is car culture. Unlike Europe, Korea traditionally prefers sedans or big cars. Of course, as the outdoor lifestyle has been gradually increasing in Korea, vehicles with ample load space have been spotlighted, but the demand is concentrated on SUVs.
Hatchback created the momentum of sluggish sales of hatchbacks by combining these two dynamics: the old stereotype of’cars’, the expanding volume of the SUV market, and the auto industry to reduce hatchbacks and implement’selection and focus’ strategies on other models. It is analyzed that.
Nevertheless, the automobile culture is fluid according to the times, and the consumer’s propensity and perception can vary according to the new culture. So, we don’t need to look at the future negatively that hatchback is not preferred in the domestic market. However, as of now, the reality that the choice of a pretty decent hatchback is gradually decreasing is unfortunate.