Foreign car sales are on the rise thanks to customers in their 30s. The number of foreign cars sold in Korea nearly doubled from 40,530 in 2006 to 90,562 last year, taking up 5.8 percent of the automobile market.
The growth is mainly due to an increase in individual buyers rather than corporations. Those in their 30s bought the most imports last year, accounting for 32.8 percent or 14,925 units, an increase of a whopping 384 percent compared to 28.15 percent (3,879 units) in 2006. That is the largest growth rate among customer groups ranging from teens to those in their 70s, followed by buyers in their 20s (353 percent) and those in their 40s (334 percent).
Import car retailers have been winning over these young buyers with relatively affordable models priced in the W30-million range (US$1=W1,117) since the start of the financial crisis in 2008. The most popular brand among them is Volkswagen with competitive mid-size and compact models, and the Golf TDI is their favorite.