The Korea Herald


[KH Explains] KG Mobility looks to turn to annual profit for 1st time in 7 years

Korean SUV specialist rides upbeat exports, strong sales of Torres

By Kan Hyeong-woo

Published : Nov. 30, 2023 - 16:18

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KG Mobility holds a launch ceremony for the sport utility vehicle Torres in Cairo, Nov. 20. (KG Mobility) KG Mobility holds a launch ceremony for the sport utility vehicle Torres in Cairo, Nov. 20. (KG Mobility)

KG Mobility is hoping to finish 2023 strong to end the year with a profit for the first time since 2016 on strong sales overseas and the automaker’s bestselling sport utility vehicle Torres.

According to a regulatory filing, the Korean carmaker has logged accumulative revenue and operating profit of almost 3 trillion won ($2.32 billion) and 42.4 billion won, respectively, in the first three quarters of this year. The revenue from the period of January to September saw a 24.6 percent jump on year.

The automaker had sold 96,399 vehicles as of September, up 19.8 percent from the previous year and the most since accumulated figures from the first three quarters of 2019. Domestic sales posted 50,984 sold, while overseas sales recorded 45,415.

In particular, KG Mobility turned in its biggest third-quarter profit in 10 years, selling 31,254 vehicles from July to September. Of the sold vehicles, almost 20,000 were exports, up 59.6 percent on-year.

“We recorded profits for three consecutive quarters since the first quarter due to the expansion of product lineup such as the launch of Torres and product enhancement models,” a KG Mobility official commented.

“As the Torres EVX, which was launched in September, especially drew high expectations from the market, we will expand sales and improve the financial structure through aggressive marketing strategies in both the domestic and overseas markets as well as strengthening global market approaches.”

KG Mobility’s Torres, the flagship SUV launched in July 2022 and the automaker’s first new model in 3 1/2 years, offered a much-needed boost for revival. The automaker has sold 40,648 Torres vehicles through October this year. The SUV is the bestselling model among all KG Mobility vehicles in the first 10 months of the year.

Based on the popularity of the Torres in the domestic market, the automaker has released various models of the SUV, such as the Torres Bi-Fuel, which uses both gasoline and liquefied petroleum gas, Torres TX, a leisure model, and Torres Van, a two-seater with much more loading space.

KG Mobility hopes to accelerate its future strategies with new models. The automaker is expected to debut a coupe-style SUV and an electric pickup truck next year. On top of that, the company plans to release an electrified follow-up model of the Korando, tentatively named KR10, in 2025 and another EV follow-up model of the Rexton called F100 in 2026.

The automaker is also focused on expanding its presence in the global market as it continues to explore export opportunities in various regions such as Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

KG Mobility is building a knock-down plant in Vietnam. The knock-down approach in the auto industry indicates an automaker’s local assembly and manufacturing with exported parts. Having signed agreements with Vietnamese FUTA Group’s Kim Long Motors, KG Mobility plans to begin mass production at the local plant next year.

The automaker is also speeding up the ongoing knock-down project with Saudi National Automobiles Manufacturing, as it inked a memorandum of understanding on establishing a supply chain of parts providers in October this year.

In November, KG Mobility showcased the Torres in Egypt for the first time, making a foray into the African market. The automaker began selling the SUV in Europe in July this year.

KG Mobility Chairman Kwak Jae-sun vowed to nearly triple the automaker’s annual units sold, laying out goals to sell 320,000 cars in 2026, with 200,000 of them being exports, on a press conference in September.

“All members of the company are trying to make a new company with brand new determination,” he said.

“We will never bear the dishonor of a red company in terms of structure.”

KG Mobility holds a launch ceremony for the sport utility vehicle Torres in Cairo, Nov. 20. (KG Mobility) KG Mobility holds a launch ceremony for the sport utility vehicle Torres in Cairo, Nov. 20. (KG Mobility)