My first car was a used car.

It was a 'Credos' produced by Kia, but it was a rare dual airbag vehicle at the time.

I loved it and rode it, but when it was sold, no one wanted to buy it, so I had to hand it over to a junk car dealer.

I remember receiving about 300,000 won for scrap metal.

The next vehicle I bought was a Sonata.

It was the YF Sonata, which opened the heyday of the Sonata model, and it was the first new car in my life.

I have no plans to buy a new car in the future, so it may be the first and last new car in my life.

37 years of tradition 'Sonata'...

Is discontinued

A few days ago, there was an article that the Sonata, which was the representative of mid-size sedans in Korea, was going to be discontinued.

In fact, it is not just a story of a year or two that the Sonata started going downhill.

Until 2007, the Sonata was ranked 5th in the brand stock evaluation, a company specializing in brand value evaluation.

However, it gradually decreased to 6th place in 2008 and 8th place in 2009, and then plunged to 30th place in 2010, entering a full-fledged downturn.

At the time, an industry official said, "The brand value of the mid-size car Sonata seems to be declining as the tendency of car consumption is polarized toward large and light cars, and consumer choices are dispersed due to the expansion of the imported car market."

Since then, this trend has worsened, and in the case of the current 8th-generation DN8, since its debut in 2019, domestic sales have reached 170,000 units and overseas sales have been limited to 270,000 units.

The difference is easy to see when comparing the 6th-generation YF Sonata with domestic sales of 510 thousand units and overseas sales of 1.62 million units for about five years.

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In this context, there is nothing surprising in the report of the discontinuance of the Sonata this time.

It is known that Hyundai Motor is not currently working on a development project for the DN9, the next-generation Sonata model.

(For reference, in DN9, D stands for mid-size car, N stands for sedan, and 9 stands for 9th generation model.) It usually takes 4 to 6 years to develop a new car, and considering that the 8th generation model was released in 2019, the next Considering that the Sonata model should come out, but there is no development plan, it seems difficult to deny the report that it is discontinued.

Hyundai Motor plans to release a partially modified model of the DN8, the 8th-generation Sonata, at the end of this year or early next year, and it is highly likely that this vehicle will be the last Sonata model.

The Sonata, which started production in October 1985 and has sold 9.17 million units at home and abroad so far, has been a representative mid-size car in Korea.

However, some point out that it is still premature to conclude that Hyundai Motor Company has given up on the 'Sonata' brand.

End of internal combustion engine...

"The Sonata brand is important"

Hyundai Motor Group plans to sell 1 million electric vehicles worldwide by 2025.

In the case of Hyundai Motor Company, at the 'IAA Mobility 2021' press conference in September last year, it announced that it would increase the proportion of electrified models out of global sales to 30% by 2030 and 80% by 2040.

By region, we presented a roadmap that all models sold in the European market will consist of only hydrogen and battery electric vehicles by 2035, and that all vehicles sold in the remaining major markets will be electrified sequentially by 2040.

Kia also announced at the beginning of last year that it would release seven exclusive electric vehicles by 2026, sell 1.6 million eco-friendly cars by 2030, and launch 1 million PBVs.

With the goal of selling more than 580,000 electric vehicles in 2026 and 880,000 electric vehicles in 2030, the company plans to increase the proportion of electric vehicle sales in major advanced markets such as Europe, Korea, North America and China to 34%.

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Hyundai and Kia have already stopped developing internal combustion engine engines.

It has been a long time since the research staff turned to electric vehicles.

In this electrification trend, some analysts say that the news of Sonata discontinuation is closer to the end of the 'medium-sized internal combustion engine vehicle' represented by the Sonata than the Sonata brand itself.

An official from Hyundai Motor said, "There is nothing confirmed about the Sonata discontinuation report," and emphasized, "The value of the Sonata brand is still important." Even if it does, there are many prospects that it will be a different type of car than a 'midsize sedan' that has already lost its competitiveness

(Photo = Yonhap News)