Hyundai Motor will hold a group camping event for its customers on May 25 and 26, as part of its marketing strategy to promote its recreational and sports utility vehicles. / Courtesy of Hyundai Motor
By Kim Tae-jong
Camping has become increasingly popular as a leisure activity among Koreans in recent years, and automakers are trying to take advantage of the trend.
Local automakers and imported car brands have launched various recreational vehicles (RVs) and sport utility vehicles (SUVs) to attract those who go camping by emphasizing their benefits for such purposes.
The nation’s largest automaker Hyundai Motor has the richest RV and SUV lineup, including the Santa Fe and Tucson. It recently launched the Maxcruz, a longer-body version of the popular SUV Santa Fe, and the Grand Starex Camping Car, a modified model of the Grand Starex minivan.
“As the nation’s camping goods market grows rapidly and auto-camping sites continue to increase, the demand for camping vehicles has grown,” a Hyundai official said. “It would be hard to load all your camping equipment into a sedan, but SUVs and RVs are good for that.”
Market insiders estimate about a million Koreans enjoy camping and the camping equipment market is worth 300 billion won, and keeps growing fast.
Reflecting the growing trend, the Grand Starex Camping Car sold out in just one month. The automaker had originally planned to produce 120 vehicles of the model for this year.
“We were also surprised by the strong demand for our camping car,” the official said.
The automaker also hosts group camping events regularly for Hyundai owners as part of its marketing strategy.
The firm said it will accept applications from customers until May 15 for the next camp, to take place in Cheonan, South Chungcheong Province, on May 25 and 26. It will invite 200 families.
Ssangyong Motor has changed its key marketing strategies to target young drivers who enjoy outdoor leisure activities.
“We decided to come up with new concepts for our marketing strategies for our SUVs,” a Ssanyong official said. “We chose new target customer groups, namely those in their 20s and 30s, and started to give the vehicles a new image associated with outdoor leisure and camping.”