By on August 25, 2015

2014 Chevrolet Impala Exterior-005

Buyers in South Korea have flocked to order the Chevrolet Impala by requesting more than 3,000 of the full-size sedans, which is two to three times higher than expected, BusinessKorea is reporting.

The higher-than-expected draw in South Korea is part of a larger trend; according to the BBC, just around 6,000 cars were imported in 2000. In 2014, more than 196,000 cars were imported into the country, although many of those were European luxury models.

GM Korea forecasted 4,000 to 5,000 Impala models would be sold by the end of 2015, but Korean buyers are ordering 200 cars per day, which would exhaust their supply within one month.

Buyers in Korea are ordering the high-end models, too. The most popular pick for prospective Korean buyers is the 2.5-liter LTZ followed by the 3.6-liter LTZ, according to the report. The 2.5-liter LT is approximately 15 percent of the mix.

A spokesman for Chevrolet said Korea would be receiving Impala models built in Detroit.

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29 Comments on “Chevrolet Impalas Going Quickly in South Korea...”

  • avatar

    Imported from Detroit.

  • avatar

    I normally rally for American-built but:

    #1 Hyundai’s GENESIS is a better car all-around than the Impala.
    Optional V8, Optional AWD, a strong V6…

    #2 Chevy needs to make optional AWD in the Impala and Malibu instead of forcing customers to step up to crossovers or Cadillac.

    #3 Hyundai’s AZERA (discontinued) was a better car than botht he Malibu and Impala. And no I’m not just saying that because I leased one…

    …or maybe I am.

    …what possessed me to lease an Azera $36,000 over the Impala/Malibu/Ford anything and Chrysler Sebring/200?

    well – the interior space on Hyundai’s cars puts Chevy to shame.

    the Genesis is a MORE COMFORTABLE LUXURY CAR than my 300.

    I give credit where it’s due.

    • 0 avatar

      What are you talking about? The Impala starts at around $28k and, loaded, tops-out at around $35k. A base Genesis sedan starts at around $39k. If the Genesis sedan wasn’t a better car than one that costs over $10k less, they wouldn’t be doing very well at this. The Azera failed, and wasn’t better at anything.

    • 0 avatar

      The Impala is a better vehicle than the Azera (was) than the Avalon and is not in the same gene pool as the Genesis. I have driven both cars. I do like the Genesis, but would buy an Impala. The new Malibu is the intriguing GM offering though. As far as AWD, if you want it stick with the Dodge. Big thrill.

    • 0 avatar

      Love the design of the new Genesis, but it has no fold-down rear seat. No folding seat deletes a ton of usefulness for us. I won’t nit pick over Impala’s use of interior room and specs versus the limited competition. The Impala is affordable, quick, comfy, gorgeous… and I receive compliments and inquiries regularly.

      • 0 avatar

        “Love the design of the new Genesis, but it has no fold-down rear seat.”

        There is a very small minority who wants a fold-down rear seat in a large luxury car.

    • 0 avatar

      The Azera’s dead!? You can’t just spring that on a guy!

      That was my main ride in Seoul (as the Grandeur). Great car. If it was no longer sold in South Korea, I can see why the Impala would be popular.

      • 0 avatar

        I have no idea what he is talking about. There are 30 new 2015 Azeras in the DFW Metroplex, and the only thing I can find about its discontinuation is a 2014 Autoblog rumor that Hyundai executives are “open minded” about its fate in the US. However, it is a continued hit in South Korea.

    • 0 avatar

      The Impala and Genesis are in different segments, much less price ranges.

      The Impala is better (and roomier) than the Azera, as well as the Avalon (the closest to the Impala would be the Cadenza).

      One reason why the Impala is selling well (aside from being best in segment) is due to GM Korea’s aggressive pricing (price being lower than what the Impala sells for in the US – cue all the “dumping” accusations), but the Impala would be selling even better if they offered a diesel-powered model (as about 50% of sales in Korea are for diesel and for imports, even higher at around 75%).

  • avatar

    Korean roads seem to lend themselves to big, soft sedans. The Azera has always sold much, much better there than here.

    • 0 avatar

      Exactly. The Grandeur (USDM Azera) is everywhere here. You can’t throw a rock without hitting one.

    • 0 avatar

      That’s because the majority of Koreans never leave the downtown/city/business meeting area, and don’t need to go fast. They need a large sedan which conveys status, in a dark color.

      If they do need to go fast, they buy something imported.

      • 0 avatar

        So I suppose the traffic jams leaving the Seoul metro area on Friday afternoons and evenings and going back into Seoul on Sundays, along with the sea of people at parks, beaches and camp sites are all just imaginary?

        Koreans spend a lot of time outdoors and getting away from the city and it’s done a very well developed highway network that is by far among the easiest to illegally speed in the developed world.

        • 0 avatar

          -Eye roll-

          Seoul has traffic jams no matter what, because of how many people live there. I knew you’d just say the opposite of whatever I said, because that’s how you are. You know everything about everything there, and anything somebody says is half-baked or wrong, because it wasn’t said by you. We all got it.


          • 0 avatar

            It’s well known that the worse times to be driving out of Seoul on the major arteries are Friday evenings and Saturday mornings, with the worse time to be traveling into Seoul on Sunday afternoons. If you spent any amount of time driving into our out of Seoul on or about the weekends, you’d know this without me, the news or the traffic channels, or the traffic on your GPS having to tell you because you’d have seen exactly which way the traffic was piled up on the highway.

            I don’t have a compulsive need to do “this, +1” when I agree with people, but do correct often correct misconceptions. I’m sorry that you feel that you’re more wrong than most other people. After all, like every other expat who’s lived in Korea for the entirety of a whole couple years, you know everything there is to know about the place. Far be it for me to point out that you actually have and had a very, very limited perspective.

  • avatar

    Makes sense, the low headroom and squashed greenhouse is right up their alley design wise.

  • avatar
    John R

    I wonder if there is a correlation between the North’s saber rattling and an uptick in the South’s buying American products…

    • 0 avatar

      Wouldn’t read anything into it as Impala sales were up before the most recent incident.

      The Impala has basically taken the place of the Alpheon (aka as the Buick LaCrosse) which was its own sub-brand.

      GM Korea may bring back the Alpheon/Lacrosse with the next gen model, but they more likely will forgo doing so as they want to concentrate on the Chevy and Cadillac brands.

  • avatar

    I don’t anything about driving conditions , in South Korea. I’ve lived with my 14 Impala LT 2.5 litre for 18 months now. My only beef ? For sustained highway driving 75 – 80 mph , too many shifts, and just not enough power. In Canada I notice the 15 , 2.5 litre has that stop , start thing . , like a golf cart. No way I could live with that.

    These days , 95 percent of my driving is below 60 mph. The Impala serves my needs perfectly. It’s roomy ,comfy ,and a pleasure to drive. As far as visibility goes ? Yeah …you need to use your mirrors to back up. No big deal. Head room ? I’m 5″9 not an issue for me, anyway.

  • avatar

    I don’t know where these Impalas are because I haven’t seen one and I live here. I have seen Malibus, usually one a day. The KDM version of the LaCrosse, the Alpheon, is pretty popular here as well.

  • avatar

    Further proof that, if you build a decent car, it can be successfully exported. Hope this is the beginning of a trend.

  • avatar

    While it’s not so obvious in Seoul, things are different now than just 3-4 years ago, especially so out in the smaller towns and cities. There’s been an explosion in non-KDM vehicles since the signing and implementation of several free trade and tariff agreements.

    3-4 years ago, while German cars weren’t at all uncommon, it was rare to see Japanese brands. Now every apartment parking lot has several Lexuses, Toyotas, Infinitis and Nissans, with more Jags and Land Rovers than you used to see around before.

    In 2012, when I got a new MINI and a leased E350, there was some element of novelty that doesn’t exist at all in 2015.

  • avatar

    There’s no overestimating how much South Koreans love a three-box saloon.

    • 0 avatar

      If Americans topped-out at 5’6″ we’d still love them, too.

      • 0 avatar

        Average height of a South Korean male is 5′ 8.5″. Average height of a male American 5′ 10″.

        The much larger difference is in body weight. I’d imagine overweight people prefer taller cars because of ease of ingress/egress as well as preferring more trucklike seating positions.

        • 0 avatar

          Koreans don’t like no fatties. They’re quick to criticize even their family members for that.

          A coworker there was having coffee with me, and her sister was coming over. She said, “Oh here’s my sister, she’s a little fat.”

          Upon leaving the country permanently, same coworker took me kindly to the airport. She gave me a hug, and her last words to me were “Try and lose a little weight.”

  • avatar

    It’s the styling. I knew it was going to be a hit first time I saw one in person last year, but strangely Mid size segment was a miss for recent trends in America.

    One of the only alternatives i think they have there is the Chrysler 300, with large panther boat like characteristics.

    Also by size the only cars that compare are $90k 528i’s and $150k S Classes which most can’t afford.

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