The future of the pint-sized Hyundai Casper could be at risk due to declining sales in South Korea, despite the crossover only having been on sale for a couple of years.
The Casper is built through a joint venture dubbed Gwangju Global Motors (GGM) operating out of a factory in the city of Gwangju. Hyundai and Kia are the only companies manufacturing vehicles of this size in Korea but recent trends in the market show that locals are buying fewer vehicles in the local ‘compact’ class than they were previously.
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Indeed, domestic sales of these cars topped out at 8,350 units in January, 113 units fewer than the same month last year. Hyundai was able to sell a total of 45,400 Caspers in 2023 and while that’s a strong figure, it was down 5% from 2022. The Korea Times expects sales to fall further this year and notes that Hyundai was offering discounts of up to 17% on the crossover last November.
While local demand for the Casper is slowing, there is still hope for it. Hyundai is developing an all-electric version of the crossover that will launch in Europe and Australia. A pair of heavily camouflaged prototypes of the Casper EV were recently spotted being put to the test Down Under by Drive and snapped alongside a Fiat 500e.
While many details about the new model remain unknown, it should sit at the base of Hyundai’s electric range and be priced in a similar region to the BYD Dolphin and MG 4. However, it will be significantly smaller than both and perhaps a better rival to the more expensive 500e.