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Koreans In Their 30's The Biggest Buyers Of Imported Cars In 2016

By February 22, 2017 at 4:57 am
In 2016, South Koreans in their 30s bought a total of 12,390 BMW cars, accounting for 22.4 percent of the total in that age group. (Photo : Getty Images)

South Koreans in their 30s were the biggest buyers of imported cars in 2016, accounting for almost 40 percent of sales in the foreign-made auto market, according to industry data released Wednesday. 

Last year, a total of 144,883 imported cars were sold to South Korean customers, according to data compiled by the Korea Automobile Importers & Distributors Association (KAIDA).

Of that figure, Koreans in their 30s bought a total of 55,356 vehicles, which accounted for 38.2 percent of the total foreign cars sold. They were followed by people in their 40s, who purchased 42,592 vehicles, which comprised 29.4 percent. Customers in their 50s bought 24,027 units, which accounted for 16.6 percent, the data showed.

In January, the number of newly registered imported cars in South Korea came at 16,674, an increase of 2.7 percent from 16,234 vehicles registered in the year-earlier month, according to the KAIDA data released earlier this month.

The increase from the previous year comes amid continued sales ban on Audi and Volkswagen cars due to the fake emissions test results scandal.

In the previous decade, high-income South Koreans in their 40s and 50s were the biggest buyers of foreign-made cars, but it has changed in the current decade as foreign carmakers have been ramping up efforts to attract young Korean drivers with sleek designs and lower prices.

Consumers in their 30s mostly prefer BMW and Mercedes-Benz brands. Last year, 30-somethings purchased a total of 12,390 BMW cars, accounting for 22.4 percent of the total in that certain age group.

Buyers in their 40s and above prefer Mercedes-Benz over BMW. In 2016, customers in their 40s bought a total of 9,213 Benz vehicles, followed by 7,594 units of BMW cars.

No Volkswagen cars were sold in the country last month, compared to 1,660 Volkswagen cars sold in January 2016. Meanwhile, sales of Audi cars only came at 474 units, which marked a 75.1 percent plunge from the year-ago month of 1,900 cars sold, according to KAIDA. 

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