Sales of foreign cars here rose 19.6 percent last year to 156,497 units, breaking a new record. Import cars also accounted for 12 percent of the domestic passenger car market, up two percentage points over the same period.
The Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association on Tuesday said the foreign car market is expected to see a two-digit growth this year as well, with around 174,000 units in sales volume, up 11.1 percent from last year.
The growth is attributed to the popularity of diesel models among young consumers. Some 97,185 diesel cars were sold last year, up 45.8 percent from 2012. They also accounted for 62.1 percent of the entire foreign car market, up from 50.9 percent.
With the influx of young drivers, demand for compact cars with engines smaller than 2.0 liter grew, with 83,667 units sold, making up 53.5 percent of the total foreign car sales.
German cars remained the most popular. BMW ranked top with 33,066 cars, followed by Volkswagen (25,649), Mercedes-Benz (24,780) and Audi (20,044).