The first female president of South Korea, Park Geun-hye, was inaugurated on Monday. Besides being the first female president, she was also the first one to ride in a Korean-made limousine during the inauguration ceremony: a specially-designed, heavily-armored Hyundai Equus. The former President, Lee Myung-bak, rode in a Mercedes-Benz S600 Pullman Guard and a BMW Security 760Li.
The use of a native-built limo will certainly be a point of pride for Koreans, as most auto-manufacturing nations chauffeur their heads-of-state in cars built on home turf. No doubt the occasion will be used as a marketing tactic by Hyundai as it aims to raise its status in the luxury sedan market. And as Korean businessman get used to the notion of homegrown luxury vehicles, they may be look for the same ride when travelling abroad.
Korean news site, Chosun Ilbo, reports the stretched Equus was produced in conjunction with Stoof, a German company that specializes in armored vehicles, and cost in the neighborhood of $1 million. The vehicle, which weighs between four and five tons, has had its intake and exhaust system enhanced to increase horsepower. (Read more about the presidential modifications, including run-flat tires and bulletproof glass, here.)
During her inauguration, Geun-hye promised to revive the South Korean economy. Interestingly, Geun-hye’s father, Park Chung-hee, was president of South Korea from 1963 to 1979 and presided over a period of rapid economic growth from which Hyundai emerged a powerhouse motor company. LCT Report On Stretched Hyundai Equus Here — Denis Wilson, LCT East Coast Editor
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