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Agag Targeting South Korean Manufacturers

Formula E targeting South Korean manufacturer along with proposed Korean E-Prix…

Photo: Formula E

The proposed 2020-21 ABB FIA Formula E Championship race in South Korea will give Korean automotive manufacturers “encouragement” to join the series, according to Formula E chairman Alejandro Agag.

An additional OEM committing to the championship is not expected until the 2020-21 season but either Kia or Hyundai are believed to have completed initial studies for entering the championship.

Agag signed an agreement with a South Korean promoter last month to identify a location in the country’s capital city Seoul to host a future race.

“We really would like to have a Korean manufacturer but for the moment one has not made the decision to step in,” Agag told e-racing365.

“I think having a race in Korea will be a big encouragement to have one coming and we should get at least one coming in.”

Agag also reiterated the all-electric championship’s desire to see a U.S.-based manufacturer compete.

“My big ambition is to get one Korean and also an American manufacturer. So we have to see if this race helps,” said Agag.

“We have still to find a location but I am pretty sure we will have a race there in Season Six.”

Hyundai currently runs a full World Rally Championship team, while Kia, which Hyundai has a 33.8 percent stake in, does not currently have a major motorsport program.

E-racing365 revealed last month that Hyundai has committed to the new ETCR touring car platform, and is set to  build an electric-powered Veloster N TCR for 2020.

Other manufacturers based in South Korea include SsangYong, which is mostly owned by Mahindra & Mahindra.

Sam Smith is e-racing365's Formula E Editor. A 20-year veteran in motorsports media, including press officer roles in both the FIA Sportscar Championship and at Lola Group, Smith is a well-known face in the Formula E paddock, where he served as series editor for Motorsport.com from 2014-17. Contact Sam

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Kris G.

    December 18, 2018 at 1:29 pm

    Hyundai controls Kia – they share vehicle platforms, engines and even production lines in many of their factories, so in this regard we can only talk about one manufacturer really. Hyundai is expanding their global presence, investing in a luxury brand (Genesis) and in motorsport (racing in WRX, TCR and planning as the articles says to participate in the future ETCR).

    SsangYong that’s owned by Mahindra is a very small company that not long time ago was producing vehicles based on old Mercedes models.

    Samsung Motors always had a partnership with Nissan and nowadays is controlled by Renault so not likely to get involved as Renault just left the championship.

    The only South Korean manufacturer that Agag is referring to has to be Hyundai.

    About the American manufacturer, we have Ford that was linked with a partnership with Dragon at some capacity, but that didn’t happen yet.

    Is very unlikely that GM would participate despite to be one of the old time OEMs that’s advanced in the EV game.

    Fiat-Chrysler (FCA) that since their merge is on paper a London based company, and not American or Italian as many do think, was linked with a possible entry, Sergio Marchionne more than once said that Ferrari should get involved in FE.

    Tesla is too small as a manufacturer – despite been growing faster than the market, to afford to take part in a motorsport event at this stage.

    The American manufacturer that Agag is referring to most likely is Ford.

  2. Avatar

    Chris

    December 20, 2018 at 12:56 pm

    I’d like to see Kia join rather than Hyundai because that would be less obvious and because they don’t have a motorsport program. And Kia are starting to build a somewhat sporty image with the Stinger. Hopefully they come out with a sporty EV soon to replace it.

    • Avatar

      Kris G.

      December 23, 2018 at 8:47 am

      The Kia Soul and Niro in EV guises do sell well; maybe you do have a point.

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