Sales of domestic vehicles have plummeted but demand for imported cars has surged in the first month of 2012.
According to the Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association, the number of newly registered foreign cars stood at 9,441 units in January, up 9 percent from a year earlier and an increase of 19.8 percent from December. On the other hand, the number of newly registered Korean-produced vehicles fell 20 percent on-year.
BMW topped the list of imported cars with 2,347 units, followed by Mercedes-Benz with 1,330 and Audi with 1,148. Volkswagen came in fourth with 1,119, and Toyota was fifth with 794.
Meanwhile, the latest version of Toyota's popular Camry ranked third on the list of best-selling models in Korea.
American brands like Ford and Chrysler saw an improvement in sales as they cut their prices ahead of the implementation of the Korea-U.S. free trade agreement.