Volkswagen Overtakes BMW as Best-Selling Import

Volkswagen has become the bestselling foreign brand in Korea for the first time in three years, edging out BMW. Experts say that as imported cars become increasingly popular in the country, Volkswagen benefits due to the diversity and affordability of its compacts and midsize models.

The German automaker sold 24,226 cars in the Korean market from January to November, with 19,572 units, or over 80 percent, sold to individuals, the Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association said on Tuesday. BMW sold 16,659 cars, or just 44 percent of its total sales, to individuals over the same period.

The Volkswagen Golf hatchback, which retails for between W30 million and W40 million (US$1=W1,052), the Tiguan SUV and the Passat sedan were among the most popular models for individual consumers. They accounted for 86 percent of total purchases of the Golf and over 82 percent of the Tiguan.

In contrast, individual buyers made up 55 percent of total sales of BMW's 520d sedan.

"Due to brisk demand, about 2,000 people are still waiting to buy the Golf. This trend is expected to continue until the first half of next year," said a Volkswagen staffer.

englishnews@chosun.com / Dec. 18, 2013 09:23 KST