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South Korea’s imported car sales surge 24.6% last year

 From BernamaJanuary 15, 2013

Bernama (Seoul) – Imported car sales in South Korea surged 24.6 percent last year due to solid demand for luxury foreign car brands and positive effects from consumption tax cuts and free trades deals with the US and Europe, Xinhua news agency reported.

Sales of imported cars reached 130,858 vehicles in 2012, according to the Korea Automobile Importers and Distributers Association (KAIDA).

The double-digit growth was attributable to rising demand for premium models from overseas automakers and positive effects from free trade deals with Europe and the US.

"The local imported car market expanded thanks to consumption tax cuts, tariff cuts following the free trade deals with the US and Europe and demand for small-size, diesel cars of foreign brands," said Yoon Dae-sung, executive director of KAIDA.

German luxury carmaker BMW ranked first in terms of best-selling brand last year with 28,152 units sold here. It was followed by Mercedes-Benz with 20,389 units and Volkswagen with 18,395 units. Audi ranked fourth with 15,126 units sold and Toyota came next with 10,795 units.

The most popular model was BMW's 520d with 7,485 vehicles sold to beat Camry manufactured by Toyota with 5,687 units sold. It was followed by Mercedes-Benz's E300 with 5,574 units sold.

By size, vehicles with an engine capacity of 2-litre or less were most popular, posting 49.4 percent market share last year. This was followed by cars with an engine displacement of between 2 and 3 litres that accounted for 33.4 percent in market share.

By origin, a total of 97,210 European cars were sold here last year, taking up the market share of 74.3 percent.

This was followed by Japan with a 18.3 percent market share and the US with a 7.4 percent share.



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