Lotus bets big on South Korea’s luxury car market

SEOUL: Group Lotus, the British luxury carmaker, has unveiled its first flagship store in the posh district of Gangnam in southern Seoul, renewing its commitment to South Korea, a market it left a decade ago after years of lukewarm sales.

With its “second debut” in the South Korean market, Lotus’ Asian chief showed high expectations about its growth here.

“Next year, South Korea will become the biggest market for us in Asia outside of mainland China and will overtake Japan, which currently takes up the largest portion in the region,” said Dan Balmer, regional director for Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa at Group Lotus, during an interview with The Korea Herald.

Balmer stressed that the company will expand its sales network – including showrooms and dealerships – to Busan, the largest port city in the southeast, once it builds up stable sales and a customer base in Seoul.

Along with the showroom in Gangnam, it plans to open an after-service center in Goyang, Gyeonggi province.

The British carmaker, a subsidiary under the Chinese Geely Motors, relaunched in South Korea in May this year after partnering up with South Korea-based automotive retailer Kolon Mobility Group.

It previously set out its business here in 2007 but shut down in 2013 due to a sales slump. — The Korea Herald/ANN

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