Most High-End Cars in Korea Are Imports

  • By Ryu Jung

    December 18, 2019 12:31

    Seven out of 10 top-end cars sold in Korea are imports, according to the Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association on Tuesday.

    Overall, imported cars account for 16 percent of cars sold here, but imports dominate the high-end segment.

    A total of 211,719 cars costing more than W50 million were sold here from January to October this year, and imports accounted for 68.4 percent with 144,845 cars (US$1=W1,167).

    This is mainly due to the fact that Korean carmakers produce hardly any luxury cars except for Hyundai's Genesis brand and perhaps Kia's Stinger and Mohave SUVs, and they lack the status-affirming clout of Mercedes, BMW and Audi.

    The key target consumers have also shifted from drivers in their 30s to 50s, and growing income disparity has led to a rise in purchases of expensive imports, as seen in the soaring number of luxury cars priced at more than W200 million.

    Total sales of imports declined 10.6 percent during the first 11 months of this year compared to the same period last year, mainly due to supply shortages after an emission-rigging scandal, compounded by the slow economy.

    But the amount of money spent on imported cars fell only seven percent on-year to W15.5 trillion, meaning more expensive imports were sold. Sales of luxury imports costing over W200 million surged 32.1 percent to 3,920 vehicles.

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