Top 10 Korean Car Brands And Companies [2022] (2024)

Even though Korea is a smaller country compared to monsters like the United States or Canada, they produce some of the world’s most sought-after vehicles.

This is especially true in South Korea, where their culture focuses on the values of engineering and technological innovators.

The list below contains 10 Korean car brands that have wowed the world for decades. They display innovation, creativity, engineering, and technological perfection while also supplying affordable access.

Each company has a unique history. But, none is as much of a giant as Hyundai, Korea’s most popular car brand.

Unfortunately, the automobile manufacturing market in Korea is dying down to dangerous levels.

Many factors play into this, but they still reign at the top of worldwide personal car sales.

10 Korean Car Brands

These 10 Korean car brands are some of the most popular ones in the world. Many people will immediately recognize some names, while others will be a little more obscure.

A few of them are no longer in business, but their mention here comes from the fact that they are still quite popular and remembered brands people desire.

  1. Pyeonghwa Motors (평화자동차)
  2. SsangYong Motors (쌍용자동차 주식회사)
  3. Proto Motors (프로토자동차)
  4. CT&T United (씨티엔티)
  5. Renault Samsung Motors (르노코리아자동차)
  6. Daewoo (대우)
  7. Infiniti (코리아)
  8. KIA Motors (기아)
  9. Asia Motors (아시아자동차)
  10. Hyundai Motor Company (현대자동차)

About Korean Car Manufacturing

Before we dive deep into the list of the 10 most famous Korean car brands, there are some things to note about the industry in that part of the world.

It will help give background information when you read about the specific manufacturers later.

Both North and South Korea produce cars. However, only one from North Korea is on this list – Pyeonghwa Motors.

This is due to the harsh conditions and restrictions combined with the low demand for vehicles in North Korea.

Therefore, they don’t have a large yearly production output. While Pyeonghwa isn’t from North Korea, they partner with Ryonbong, which is.

The method and means of producing Korean cars are a little different too. This is due to the strict regulations placed on them by the South Korean government, as well as North Korea and China.

A History of Difficulty & Devastation

Also, the Asian financial and energy markets have gone through devastating blows in the 1970s and again in the late 1990s.

This has affected many Korean car brands, with some going completely defunct.

Therefore, while many excellent car producers in South Korea, existential conditions have truncated its progress.

With the current push for electric cars and the removal of personal vehicles by the World Economic Forum, Korea’s future in the automotive industry is shaky.

But, South Korea seems to pull through against all the odds and regardless of the pressures put upon them by outside influences.

Korean Car Brands

1. Pyeonghwa Motors (평화자동차)

Top 10 Korean Car Brands And Companies [2022] (1)
  • Year Established: 1988
  • Parent/Partner: Ryonbong General Corporation
  • Founder/CEO: Park Sang-Kwon
  • Headquarters: Seoul, South Korea
  • Website:

With a name translating to “peace” motors, this is a joint venture centered in Seoul. Pyeonghwa (based in Seoul) along with Ryonbong General Corporation (based in North Korea) work together to produce a variety of compact and small SUVs, pickup trucks, and compact cars.

Operating under the Brilliance China Auto licensure as well as Fiat, they hold exclusive rights to produce, sell and purchase vehicles in North Korea.

Each year Pyeonghwa produces about 10,000 automobiles. They are a main servicer to both North and South Korea along with much of the Asian world.

2. SsangYong Motors (쌍용자동차 주식회사)

Top 10 Korean Car Brands And Companies [2022] (2)
  • Year Established: 1954 / 1988
  • Parent Company: Mahindra & Mahindra Limited
  • Founder/CEO: Yea Byung-tae
  • Headquarters: Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea
  • Website:

SsangYong Motors is one of South Korea’s largest vehicle producers. Its genesis started manufacturing Jeeps for the US Army as Hadonghwan Motor Company in 1954.

Then, in 1988, the Ssangyong Business Group acquired the company and changed its name. Today, they produce 4x4s, SUVs and RVs.

Its emblem of two intertwined dragons flying into the sky represents their name and the Chinese zodiac, translating to “two dragons” (1988 was the Year of the Dragon).

They ship their products worldwide, with the United States being SsangYong’s biggest importer.

3. Proto Motors (프로토자동차)

Top 10 Korean Car Brands And Companies [2022] (3)
  • Year Established: 1997
  • Parent/Partner Company: Hyundai, Daewoo, Kia
  • Founder: Unknown
  • Headquarters: South Korea
  • Website: not applicable

While not a large company, Proto Motors provides busses, sports cars, and coaches to the whole of South Korea.

They do have close partnerships with Kia, Daewoo, and Hyundai. This is because their main focus and specialty are redesigning existing models and dipping their toes into electric car development.

In 2001, Proto Motors came out with their own convertible limousine specifically for the South Korean president, Cheongwadae.

However, the company officially closed in 2017, but its popularity is still high in Korea.

4. CT&T United (씨티엔티)

Top 10 Korean Car Brands And Companies [2022] (4)
  • Year Established: 2002
  • Parent Company: CT&T United
  • Founder(s): Young Gi Lee & Joseph J. White
  • Headquarters: South Korea
  • Website:

CT&T United is one of Korea’s largest producers of battery-powered electric cars. They also have some of the most popular models available today.

They include the cZone low-speed auto, eVan, eZone medium-speed auto and the Police EV.

Many speculate that CT&T United may be the only electric car producer that can pass passenger crash tests on a global level.

What helps is their sales and assembly in the United States, such as their plant on the island of Oahu in Hawaii.

5. Renault Samsung Motors (르노코리아자동차)

Top 10 Korean Car Brands And Companies [2022] (5)
  • Year Established: 1995 / 2000
  • Parent Company: Samsung, Semyung (SsangYong) Motors & Renault Automotive
  • Founder/CEO: Dominique Signora
  • Headquarters: Busan/Seoul, South Korea
  • Website:

Originally begun in 1994, Renault Samsung is now a collaboration between the French and South Koreans. Its current manifestation came about in 2000 as a response to the Asian financial crash that year.

This combines all the wonderful technological advancements and materials from Samsung combined with the French automaker giant, Renault.

Renault Samsung produces a host of SUVs, pickup trucks, and other types of vehicles. Their largest importers are the whole Asian world and throughout Europe.

Moreover, this company also produces vehicles for the South Korean military and other Asian armed forces.

Their most notable models include the 2003 Actyon Sports SUV, QM5 (crossover), SM7, QM3, SM5 (first successful model), Korando line, and SM3.

6. Daewoo (대우)

Top 10 Korean Car Brands And Companies [2022] (6)
  • Year Established: 1967 / 1983
  • Parent/Partner Company: General Motors (GM)
  • Founder/CEO: Kim Woo-choong, Kim Jun
  • Headquarters: Bupyeon-gu, Incheon, South Korea
  • Website:

Daewoo, meaning “great universe,” is a huge automobile giant that has several partnerships with global manufacturers like General Motors and local vehicle makers such as Proto Motors.

This mega-conglomerate began in Incheon, South Korean in 1967. Eventually, it became Saenara Motor and later, it turned into Shinjin Motor upon a partnership with Toyota.

Once they began collaborating with General Motors, they took the world by storm! While using the GM format for car design, they developed and expanded the ideas.

However, when financial problems appeared in 2001, GM bought Daewoo Motor and gained 100% of the rights.

Daewoo’s most famous models are the Matiz and Lanos, with the former becoming the company’s top seller in the late 1990s.

However, due to bankruptcy and other financial issues, the company is downsizing its staff and cutting jobs across the board. The future of Daewoo is fragile, to say the least.

7. Infiniti (코리아)

Top 10 Korean Car Brands And Companies [2022] (7)

Many people may recognize Infiniti as an American vehicle from the Japanese auto manufacturer, Nissan.

However, it has become quite the staple throughout South Korea in recent years. This is an amazing luxury line of Korean cars, with popularity and desirability all over the world, especially in Saudi Arabia.

Infiniti makes autos of all kinds, such as SUVs, sedans, sports cars, coupes, and crossovers.

However, due to major financial hardships and setbacks, Japan’s Nissan is pulling Infiniti out of Korea altogether. But they are offering after-sales service until 2028.

While the future of Infiniti is quite uncertain in Korea, global demand for vehicles remains unchanged.

8. KIA Motors (기아)

Top 10 Korean Car Brands And Companies [2022] (8)
  • Year Established: 1944
  • Parent Company: Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group
  • Founder/CEO: Song Ho-sung
  • Headquarters: Seoul, South Korea
  • Website:

Kia Motors Corporation is Korea’s oldest and most trusted automobile manufacturer, with its 1944 start making steel bicycle and motorcycle parts.

They’re the fifth-largest carmaker in the world, currently producing well over a million vehicles each year. Plus, they have a distributor and dealer network that’s 3,000 strong.

After making parts for more than 20 years, in 1974, they began passenger car production.

When the mid-1980s arrived, they partnered with Mazda and Ford auto companies to produce Kia’s first models: Avella and Pride.

After the Asian market crisis in the late 1990s, it became a subsidiary of Hyundai.

You can find Kia cars in 172 countries, with annual revenue of around $17 billion (USD).

Their designs, manufacturing guidelines, and production output are what make their vehicles so affordable and accessible.

While they do have headquarters in Korea, they’re expanding this into the United States and Europe.

9. Asia Motors (아시아자동차)

Top 10 Korean Car Brands And Companies [2022] (9)
  • Year Established: 1965
  • Parent Company: KIA Motors
  • Founder: Unknown
  • Headquarters: Gwangju, South Korea
  • Website:

While Asia Motors is now defunct, it is still a very much desirable vehicle in the resale markets around Korea. When the company began in 1965, it produced military vehicles.

Eventually, they began manufacturing SUVs, mini busses, and other heavy-duty vehicles. Then Dongkuk Steel bought Asia Motors in 1969.

In 1973, the Korean government launched a project to award auto manufacturers contracts by promoting budget-friendly, fuel-efficient vehicles.

Unfortunately, Asia Motors failed to meet these conditions and suffered huge losses as a result.

When KIA became more popular and powerful in the 1990s, it bought Asia Motors as a subsidiary.

But, when Hyundai bought out KIA, Asia Motors ceased its existence by 1999.

10. Hyundai Motor Company (현대자동차)

Top 10 Korean Car Brands And Companies [2022] (10)
  • Year Established: 1946 / 1967
  • Parent Company: Hyundai Motor Group
  • Founder: Chung Ju-yung
  • Headquarters: Seoul, South Korea
  • Website:

Coming in as a final mention on this list of Korean car brands is Hyundai Motor Company.

As mentioned in other car brands above, they have swallowed a majority of the Korean vehicle market.

In fact, they’re the fourth-largest car manufacturer in the world. This is a staple corporation for Korea and is the most popular of all Korean-produced vehicles.

Even though they began in 1946, their name came to fruition in 1967. Their claim to fame, and what propelled them international acclaim, were their Excel and Pony models.

This attracted a huge customer base in places like the United States and Canada. When they came out with the Sonata in 1988, their success soared.

The name translates to “modern era,” which the company exudes in its passion for innovation and progress.

They started out making military equipment, oil rigs, and another massive infrastructure engineering.

They produce over a million Korean cars each year, making them topnotch in quality and affordability.


Albeit a small region of the world, Korea is a car-manufacturing giant in its own right. While most of this is due in part to the efforts of Hyundai, many other makers have put them on the map.

Almost anyone in Western countries like the US, Canada, Australia, and Europe, can recognize most of the brand names on this list.

Whether KIA, Hyundai, or Daewoo, anyone who has driven one of these will tell you they all offer a smooth ride.

Plus, these are some of the most excellent while also being great on gas mileage and very simple to repair.

To pull off such a feat in an automobile is an accomplishment that’s difficult to come by.

Top 10 Korean Car Brands And Companies [2022] (2024)


What is the most popular car in Korea? ›

Korea Best Selling Cars 2022 Top 50 ranking. The top seller is the popular light commercial Hyundai Porter, which confirms the previous year leadership. The EV Hyundai Casper lands in 9th place.

What is the Korean brand of cars? ›

In the mass market, Hyundai and Kia are the most well-known car brands.

What is South Korea's No 1 car company? ›

The leading car manufacturer in South Korea was local brand Hyundai Motor Company, followed by Kia Motors in 2021. Vehicles manufactured by Hyundai Motor Company accounted for 40.2 percent of automobile sales in South Korea that year.

Are Korean cars better than Japanese? ›

While Korean cars are attractive with their high-tech features and design, no one beats Japanese cars when it comes to safety. Many drivers find a lot of stability in Japanese cars. Oftentimes, you'll be able to enjoy the car for ten years with minimal repairs.

Which is the No 1 luxury car? ›

The top Luxury cars in India include Toyota Fortuner (₹ 41.21 Lakh), Land Rover Defender (₹ 80.72 Lakh) and MINI Cooper (₹ 40.00 Lakh).

Is Kia better than Hyundai? ›

So, the verdict is in – while Kia and Hyundai offer similar vehicles, Kia models offer better value and better quality, with bolder styling and a more dynamic driving experience. Simply put, Kia vehicles are all-around better vehicles, no matter what you value most in your car.

What is BTS favorite car? ›

BTS V aka Kim Taehyung reportedly owns a Genesis GV80 SUV worth $70,900. While filming for Run BTS, the members used the same car and Kim Taehyung was in love with the SUV> So later, he bought one for himself.

What is the fastest car in Korea? ›

According to Kia Corp., the EV6 GT, which is the fastest passenger car ever produced in Korea, will be available in the domestic market from next week.

What is the most popular car in Seoul? ›

South Korea best-selling cars ranking in 2021 is lead by the Hyundai Porter, closely followed by the Hyundai Grandeur. Stunning performance scored by the Kia Carnival, reaching 3rd place with 4.3% of market share.

Are Korea cars good? ›

Korean automobiles' suspensions used to be a weak aspect, but now Hyundai and KIA are on par with or better than Toyota. The Koreans are ahead of the Japanese in transmission. Manual and automatic 6-speed transmissions found in modern Korean automobiles are extremely dependable and long-lasting.

What is BTS car brand? ›

Launching a new dedicated electric vehicle line-up brand, IONIQ, Hyundai Motor Company has once again teamed up with BTS to release a record that will surely electrify the world.

Are cars made in Korea good? ›

As a matter of fact, Korean manufacturers make some of the safest vehicles on the road today. Features like Front Crash Prevention and LED Headlights have landed late model KIA vehicles, for example, on the IIHS "Top Safety Pick +" list for the past several years.

Why is Toyota better than Honda? ›

Toyota typically wins in reliability while Honda has stronger safety ratings according to Automotive News. Toyota and Honda often rank high in the annual Consumer Reports' Auto Reliability Survey, beating out other automakers such as Mazda, Ford, and Chevrolet.

Why Korean cars are popular? ›

The main reason why the popularity of Korean cars has exploded over the last two decades is their low prices. Like their neighbors, Korean automakers realized early that the only way to access the American and European markets was if their cars were much cheaper than their competitors.

How does Hyundai compare to Toyota? ›

Hyundai shines through as the top brand when comparing its vehicle performance, technology, and fuel economy to those of Toyota models. Hyundai offers V6, V8, and four-cylinder engine options in its vehicles, while Toyota only offers V8 engines on its larger vehicle models.

What vehicle lasts longest? ›

Topping that list is the Toyota Sequoia, which has a potential lifespan of 296,509 miles, according to a new study from The automotive research website analyzed more than 2 million cars to determine which last longest and found that 20 models are able to endure for more than 200,000 miles.

Which is the strongest car in the world? ›

Some of the highest horsepower cars available are:

Koenigsegg Regera: 1,479hp. Tesla Model S Plaid: 1,020hp. Dodge Demon: 840hp. Ferrari 812 Superfast: 800hp.

Which car is king of luxury? ›

The results are in. Mercedes-Benz is now the top selling luxury car brand in the US. Mercedes took the top spot selling 340,237 vehicles in the US in 2016. Lexus followed in second place with 331,228 cars sold.

Which is premium Kia or Hyundai? ›

The differences in style and functionality between their vehicles comes down to the group each car maker targets. Hyundais are slightly more expensive but offer more luxury and quality for older drivers, while Kia are priced more affordably and designed for younger car owners.

Are Kia and Hyundai as good as Toyota? ›

Hyundai, Kia and Toyota are among the top five most dependable car brands, claims a study by JD Power.

What is Jungkook'S car? ›

Jungkook's Mercedes Benz AMG G63 Edition of 230 million KRW ($178,357 USD) sold for 1.2 billion KRW ($930,629 USD) at auction. Jungkook purchased this car in 2019.

What is Jungkook'S car called? ›

Next up on the list of cars owned by BTS is Jungkook! The youngest member of the band brought home a shiny black Mercedes Benz AMG GT63 in 2020. The German luxury/supercar starts at Rs. 2.7 Crore and is a four-seater AMG!

Does Jimin own a car? ›

Jimin's most expensive assets

Apart from this, a classic Porsche Panamera GTS (USD 179,800) and a Kia Carnival (USD 46,000) are two of the expensive cars owned by BTS member Jimin.

What is the most popular luxury car in Korea? ›

In 2021, the Mercedes-Benz E 250 was the top-selling imported car model in South Korea with a sales volume of almost twelve thousand units, followed by the Lexus ES 300h model.

Is Kia faster than Lambo? ›

Kia says its fully electric 585 hp EV6 GT can beat a Lamborghini and Ferrari in a race. To prove it, Carwow put a Kia EV6 GT up against a Lamborghini Aventador SVJ in a drag race.

What is Kia fastest car? ›

The EV6 can reach 161 miles per hour, and includes a feature car buffs love—drift mode. There's more horsepower than the base 2022 Corvette (which has 460), though the 'Vette gets to 60 mph four-tenths of a second faster.

What is the best selling car in South Korea 2022? ›

South Korea April 2022: Kia #1 for 3rd time in 4 months, Hyundai Porter and Kia Bongo on top.

Are Korean engines reliable? ›

Those sources are J.D. Power & Associates and Consumer Reports. Both of these groups rank KIA highly in reliability. J.D. Power ranks Korean cars durability highly, especially with KIA.

Why do Koreans buy white cars? ›

Korean motorists may have different reasons for choosing white, but their preference for achromatic colors could be related to their lack of color education, and perhaps, their personality, local experts say. “Koreans have no pleasure in diverse colors.

Is driving in Korea easy? ›

South Korea is much more than Seoul and the other major cities where you can get quickly and easily by train. Get ready to explore the less-touristy spots of this rugged gem. Driving in South Korea is not difficult at all.

What is Suga'S car? ›

Suga. Min Yoon-gi aka Suga and Agust D is a rapper and songwriter. The BTS member is said to own a Hyundai Palisade priced at $47,000.

What is BTS V phone brand? ›

Taehyung has proven to be a great Samsung brand ambassador as he actively promotes the brand outside official campaigns.

Does BTS fly private? ›

Despite the BTS boys being busted flying budget, they generally travel on their own private plane to avoid being hounded by fans.

Is Hyundai a luxury car in Korea? ›

Little wonder that today, Hyundai, together with its subsidiaries, is the leading name among the top Korean carmakers. Apart from industry-leading warranty coverages, these cars offer levels of luxury and sophistication that are found in much more expensive brands from Europe and America.

Why Korean cars are cheaper? ›

Most of Kia's other models are built at plants in South Korea, where production is cheaper than in the U.S. Even though Kia only has one plant in the U.S., that's enough to make the automaker exempt from paying a tariff.

Why do Korean cars have cameras? ›

The vast majority of South Korean car owners use them — primarily for insurance purposes. As in other countries, they are used as evidence in the event of a crash, and insurers offer discounts on monthly premiums to car owners who use them.

Which is higher end Kia or Hyundai? ›

So, the verdict is in – while Kia and Hyundai offer similar vehicles, Kia models offer better value and better quality, with bolder styling and a more dynamic driving experience. Simply put, Kia vehicles are all-around better vehicles, no matter what you value most in your car.

What are the most selling cars in South Korea? ›

South Korea best-selling cars ranking in 2021 is lead by the Hyundai Porter, closely followed by the Hyundai Grandeur. Stunning performance scored by the Kia Carnival, reaching 3rd place with 4.3% of market share.

Is Korean car reliable? ›

J.D. Power Finds Korean Car Manufactures Make the Most Reliable Cars. Share: Over the last decade, our friends in Korea have made some dramatic progress in automotive manufacturing and design since the days of buy one, get one free Kia sales.

Is Kia better than Toyota? ›

Exceptional reliability is the name of the game with both Toyota and Kia. A 2019 study done by J.D. Power found Kia is highest in U.S. initial quality in the non-premium category. J.D. Power also ranked the 2016 Kia Soul, as well as the 2016 Toyota Corolla, Prius, and Prius V among the most dependable cars on the road.

Is a Hyundai or Toyota better? ›

Hyundai shines through as the top brand when comparing its vehicle performance, technology, and fuel economy to those of Toyota models. Hyundai offers V6, V8, and four-cylinder engine options in its vehicles, while Toyota only offers V8 engines on its larger vehicle models.

Is Honda better than Hyundai? ›

When it comes to performance, Honda wins again. Most Honda vehicles have higher performance than Hyundai's competitors. Even after years of driving, you will experience excellent engine performance.

What is the best-selling car in South Korea 2022? ›

South Korea April 2022: Kia #1 for 3rd time in 4 months, Hyundai Porter and Kia Bongo on top.

What is Kim K favorite car? ›

Kim Kardashian reveals her favourite car. It's a monochromatic Mercedes stunner | Car News.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Sen. Ignacio Ratke

Last Updated:

Views: 5860

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (76 voted)

Reviews: 83% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Sen. Ignacio Ratke

Birthday: 1999-05-27

Address: Apt. 171 8116 Bailey Via, Roberthaven, GA 58289

Phone: +2585395768220

Job: Lead Liaison

Hobby: Lockpicking, LARPing, Lego building, Lapidary, Macrame, Book restoration, Bodybuilding

Introduction: My name is Sen. Ignacio Ratke, I am a adventurous, zealous, outstanding, agreeable, precious, excited, gifted person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.