The market share for imported cars in South Korea more than doubled in the past four years to a record 13 % in August, with automakers like Mercedes-Benz making up about 14 % of that and BMW 24 %.
According to data from the Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association, the market share for imported cars in Asia’s fourth-biggest economy was 10 % in 2012 compared with 4.9 % in 2009.
“Institutional investors were competing to buy,” said Kim Se Yong, a credit analyst in Seoul at Shinyoung Securities Co. “Both Mercedes-Benz and BMW Financial Services Korea are luring investors with their comparatively stable asset quality, and that’s a result of their captive market shares.”
Combined car sales by domestic brands including Hyundai and Kia fell 0.6 % to 1.01 million units for the January-September period, Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association data show. Sales in September dropped 13 % from a year earlier. By contrast, sales of imported models rose 21 % to 116,085 units.
“More and more South Koreans are looking for imported cars that promise to be more luxurious,” said Shin Chung Kwan, an analyst at KB Investment & Securities Co. “Automakers like BMW and Mercedes-Benz not only offer better quality and have a favorable global brand image, but they also now offer the full line up of engines to lure Korean customers.”
Mercedes-Benz sold 18,584 vehicles in South Korea the first nine months of the year, trailing BMW, with 25,088, the KAIDA data show. Volkswagen ranked third at 18,511.
) - Friday, October 25th, 2013 - filed under BMW
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