More Koreans in Their 30s and 40s Buy Imported Cars

  • By Kim Kang-han

    March 15, 2019 08:51

    Car purchases by the key demographic of consumers in their 30s and 40s have declined for three years running, but they still buy more and more foreign cars.

    According to the Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association, new vehicle registrations by people in their 30s reached 265,296 last year, and 57,542 were imported. That means foreign cars now account for 21.7 percent of their purchases, surpassing 20 percent for the first time ever.

    People in their 40s bought 296,559 cars over the same period, with imports making up 17.2 percent, up 2.6 percentage points compared to 2017. In all age groups, imported cars accounted for 14.9 percent of purchases.

    Yet total car purchases by those in their 30s and 40s fell 4.4 and 4.9 percentage points, down for a third year running.

    Total new vehicle registrations in Korea last year stood at 1.12 million, down 2.6 percentage points compared to 2017.

    An industry insider said, "Rising unemployment and inflation have made young consumers think twice about buying cars, while the spread of car-sharing services is also having an impact. But if they are going to spend money on a car, more and more people opt for imports, so their market share will rise."

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