Imported cars are increasing their popularity in the Korean market whereas domestic automakers are recording a negative growth in their home turf. Imported car makers, which sold more than 100,000 units of vehicles here in 2012, are expected to enjoy a sales growth rate of approximately 20% this year in Korea by continuing their strong performance.
A series of mini and sub-compact cars are waiting to make their debut in the local market at a highly competitive cost, posing especially grave concerns to the three Korean auto manufacturers that have yet to achieve economy of scale unlike Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Motors. “It seems that the time has come when German and Japanese companies sell more cars in Korea than Renault Samsung, Ssangyong Motors and GM Korea,” said Jo Chul, researcher at the Korea Institute for Industrial Economics & Trade.
Their towering popularity in spite of the expensive price of the products is because their high-end and premium brand image is appealing successfully to those in their 20s and 30s, a newly emerging consumer group. It can also be attributed to the prices somewhat lowered after the implementation of the FTA between Korea and the EU region back in July 2012.