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Demands for Import Cars in Primary Colors Soaring among 20-somethings
Colorful Seoul Streets
Demands for Import Cars in Primary Colors Soaring among 20-somethings
  • By matthew
  • October 28, 2013, 05:25
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The BMW M5, in blue.
The BMW M5, in blue.


Just as Seoul’s buildings and sculptures are beginning to show some colors, vehicles on the city’s streets are also starting to “put up some colors.”

According to the Korea Automobile Importers & Distributors Association (KAIDA), blue-colored vehicles in this year’s imported cars market have nearly doubled in sales from last year’s 2,732, to 5,139 by September. Red cars have shown the same trend from last year’s 974 to 1,936. Brown car sales increased from 690 to 1,345.

This trend is clear for each car brand as well. For Volkswagen, red, brown, and blue vehicles have each increased in sales by 2.5 times, 2 times, and 2 times. BMW also marked double to triple sales in brown and blue models. 

Per Volkswagen model, the sports coupe Scirocco R in blue takes 35.5% of VW’s total sales. The number of sales increased sevenfold compared to last year’s. The Golf 1.6 TDI Bluemotion also showed increased sales in red by 5 times and in blue by 2.6 times. 

This trend of increased sales in chromatic vehicles comes from the younger generation buying imported models as ways to show individuality. Thus, customers are now selecting vehicle colors more widely and boldly. An associate in the automobile industry said, “Unlike the past, customers in their 20s to 30s are now a very significant group in the imported car market,” and explained, “They tend to prefer colorful models to be unique and stylish.”

In fact, 32,037 (45.7%) out of 70,049 imported vehicles sold in Korea by September of this year were sold to customers in their 20-30s. This number is about 6% higher compared to the 39.9% from 2008. 

So far, the noticeable increase in colorful vehicle sales has appeared only in the imported car market, but it is directly affecting the domestic completed vehicle industry.

The “All New Soul” released by Kia Motors on October 23 is an example. One of the main features of this vehicle attracting customers is the “Two-Tone Roof,” which is a different color from the car body, and the “Color Zone” which applies different colors to certain parts inside the vehicle. Also, it features the world’s first “18 Inch Changeable Color Wheels,” allowing customers to choose the wheel cover colors in red, grey, or black. A Kia representative said, “Kia’s strategy is to target the customers in their 20s to 30s with young and unique lifestyles.”

In addition, Renault Samsung Motors’ QM3, scheduled for release by the end of this year, will be featuring “Two-Tone Colors,” allowing the customers to mix and match colors for the roof and the body. 

Hyundai Motors released the “Accent 2014” on October 13, which also featured a new orange shade called “Vitamin C” on top of the original seven colors available, jumping into the colorful competition with imported vehicles.