Pyeonghwa Motors

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Pyeonghwa Motors
Pyeonghwa Jadongcha
TypeState-owned company
Founded1998; 25 years ago (1998)
North Korea
Area served
North Korea, Vietnam
Key people
Park Sang-Kwon, CEO and Chairman[1]
Unification Church

Pyeonghwa Motors (Hangul : 평화자동차) (Hancha : 平和自動車), a Korean language word for "peace",[2] also spelled Pyonghwa, is one of the two car manufacturers and dealers in the North Korean automotive industry, alongside Sungri Motor Plant. Until 2013, it was a joint venture in Nampo between Pyonghwa Motors of Seoul (South Korea), a company owned by Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church, and the North Korean Ryonbong General Corp. The joint venture produced small cars under licence from Fiat and Brilliance China Auto,[3] a pickup truck and an SUV using complete knock down kits from Chinese manufacturer Dandong Shuguang, and a luxury car of SsangYong design.[citation needed] From 2013, the company has been fully owned by the North Korean state.[4]

Pyeonghwa has the exclusive rights to car production, purchase, and sale of used cars in North Korea. However, most North Koreans are unable to afford a car. Because of the very small market for cars in the country, Pyeonghwa's output is reportedly very low. In 2003, only 314 cars were produced even though the factory had the facilities to produce up to 10,000 cars a year.[5]

Erik van Ingen Schenau, author of the book Automobiles Made in North Korea, has estimated the company's total production in 2005 at not more than around 400 units.[6]


Pyeonghwa Motors was officially founded by the Unification Church.[7] The venture came during the period of the Sunshine Policy between North and South Korea, when sanctions on the country were not as tough.[8] The venture was announced in 2000[citation needed].

In 2002, around $55 million to build the factory,[7][9] with the first production line in Nampo was completed and the first Hwiparam was produced[citation needed] The Premio and Pronto introduced in 2004.

In 2009, PM earned about $700,000 from the sale of 650 cars, $500,000 remitted to South Korea[7][9] Park Sang-Kwon, Pyeonghwa Motors president, started talks to end investment in 2012.[9]

The Unification Church officially transferred all investment to Pyongyang in 2013.[4]

Model list[edit]

Pronto GS
Paso 990
Model Production Status Body style Country of production
410 1994 to 2002 Import and conversion Saloon Germany ⇒ North Korea / China
Huiparam since 2002 Mass production Saloon North Korea
Huiparam II since 2005 Import Saloon China
Huiparam III since 2011 Import Saloon China
Junma 2006 Concept car Saloon North Korea
Paso 990 since 2011 Mass production Minivan Vietnam
Ppeokkugi since 2002 Mass production Van North Korea
Ppeokkugi II since 2004 Mass production SUV North Korea
Ppeokkugi III since 2004 Mass production SUV and Pick-up North Korea
Ppeokkugi 4WD-A since 2009 Mass production SUV North Korea
Ppeokkugi 4WD-B since 2009 Mass production SUV Czech Republic / South Korea
Ppeokkugi 4WD-C since 2009 Mass production SUV and Pick-up Vietnam
Premio DX 2004 to 2009 Mass production SUV and Pick-up Vietnam
Premio DX II since 2009 Mass production SUV and Pick-up Vietnam
Premio MAX since 2004 Mass production SUV and Pick-up Vietnam
Pronto DX 2004 to 2009 Mass production SUV Vietnam
Pronto GS since 2009 Mass production SUV Vietnam
Samchunri since 2005 Import Mid-size van China
Zunma since 2008 Mass production Saloon North Korea
Zunma 1606 since 2013 (?) Import Saloon China
Zunma 2008 since 2013 (?) Import Saloon China

Further models and partnerships[edit]

In summer 2006, the North Korean government magazine Foreign Trade, which advertises North Korean products, published a photograph of a new luxury car produced by Pyeonghwa, the Junma,[13] which appears to be a rebadged version of the South Korean SsangYong Chairman.[14][15]

The Chairman bears a strong resemblance to SsangYong cars, which are favored by North Korean government officials.[2] The Junma is based on an old Mercedes E-Class design.[16]

In 2006, Pyeonghwa reached an agreement with Chinese manufacturer Brilliance China Auto to assemble its Jinbei Haise vans, which are based on an old version of the Toyota HiAce.[17][18]

In 2007, Pyeonghwa introduced Brilliance's Junjie car under the name Hwiparam II. The original Fiat-based Hwiparam has appeared on Pyeonghwa's web site.[19]

In 2009, Pyeonghwa announced a profit on its North Korean operations.[20]

The Premio and Pronto are also sold in Vietnam by Mekong Auto.[21] Both are based on Huanghai vehicles. Mekong Auto has sold Fiat cars in Vietnam since 1995, and this relationship may have led to Pyeonghwa assembling Fiats in North Korea.[citation needed]


Pyeonghwa is currently the only company in North Korea to advertise. A series of billboards and TV commercials have been made in an effort to show residents that their country is able to produce products such as motor vehicles. The ads may be aimed primarily at expatriate businessmen in Pyongyang, but Car and Driver magazine suggests that they are actually propaganda aimed at the local population, to make them believe that their country is economically successful.[22]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Interview of Sang Gwon Park, President of North Korea's Pyeonghwa Motors".
  2. ^ a b Berkowitz, Justin (August 13, 2010). "Cars from North Korea: Axis of Evil". Car and Driver.
  3. ^ "Pyongwha Fiparam, el utilitario que anima la industria del automóvil de la RPDC" (in Spanish). Choson Digest. Archived from the original on 2011-08-08. Retrieved 2011-08-08.
  4. ^ a b Power, John (2 November 2015). "Yes, North Korea makes cars, and here are the latest models". Mashable.
  5. ^ "The Chosun Ilbo (English Edition): Daily News from Korea". Retrieved 4 September 2016.
  6. ^ "China Car Forums — View Single Post — Pyeonghwa Motors (DPRK) and Mekong (Vietnam)". Retrieved 4 September 2016.
  7. ^ a b c Ramstad, Evan (November 27, 2012). "End of the Road for North Korean Auto Maker?". Wall Street Journal -Korea RealTime. Retrieved 2012-12-06.
  8. ^ "North Korean Cars: Pyonghwa Motors". Visit North Korea. 2019-06-24. Retrieved 2019-06-24.
  9. ^ a b c "Unification Church to wind up auto venture in NK". Yonhap. 2012-11-28. Retrieved 2012-12-05.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Pyeonghwa Motors Official Page". Archived from the original on 2013-04-08.
  11. ^ "pyeonghwa motors corporation: North Korea has its own automaker that you may know nothing about — Times of India". The Times of India. 2 April 2017.
  12. ^ "ZUNMA 2008 | chinesecars". Retrieved 14 September 2021.
  13. ^ " / server maintenance". Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved 4 September 2016.
  14. ^ "Ssangyong Chairman Limousine 4d". Global Auto Index. Global Auto Systems Europe Kft. Archived from the original on 11 March 2008. Retrieved 4 September 2016.
  15. ^ "Google Translate". Retrieved 4 September 2016.
  16. ^ Hevesy, Alex (July 13, 2015). "Yes, even North Korea has its own luxury car brand". Autoweek.
  17. ^ "Pyeonghwa Motors (DPRK) and Mekong (Vietnam) - China Car Forums". Retrieved 4 September 2016.
  18. ^ " / server maintenance". Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved 4 September 2016.
  19. ^ "Chinese cars abroad — Page 5 - China Car Forums". Retrieved 4 September 2016.
  20. ^ Pyeonghwa Sells in North Korea, Wall Street Journal, July 16, 2009
  21. ^ Mekong. "Mekong — Tin tức". Retrieved 4 September 2016.
  22. ^ Berkowitz, Justin (August 2010), "Cars from the "Axis of Evil": North Korea", Car and Driver, archived from the original on 2010-09-05, retrieved 2010-09-08

External links[edit]