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Sales of SUVs, gasoline cars rise in 2019 Korean auto market: data

All News 16:28 March 10, 2020

SEOUL, March 10 (Yonhap) -- Sales of sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and gasoline-powered vehicles posted solid growth in South Korea last year, industry data showed Tuesday, although the country's auto market contracted for the second consecutive year.

Nearly 1.8 million vehicles were registered in South Korea last year, down 1.8 percent from a year earlier, according to the Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association (KAMA).

Sales of sedans dropped 8.2 percent on-year to 822,415 units, but those of SUVs increased 7.2 percent on-year to 674,620 units, KAMA data showed.

SUVs accounted for 45.1 percent of total domestic automobile sales in 2019, up 3.8 percentage points from a year ago.

This photo taken on July 22, 2019, shows Hyundai Motor vehicles parked at a port in Ulsan. (Yonhap)

This photo taken on July 22, 2019, shows Hyundai Motor vehicles parked at a port in Ulsan. (Yonhap)

Sales of gasoline cars also posted a solid increase in 2019, outnumbering those of diesel cars for the first time since 2013.

KAMA said 852,073 gasoline cars were sold last year, up 9.6 percent from a year earlier, while sales of diesel cars dropped 17.2 percent on-year to 656,253 units in the same period.

Gasoline cars made up 47.5 percent of the newly registered vehicles in 2019, while diesel cars accounted for 36.6 percent. In the passenger vehicle sector, 56.8 percent of cars were powered by gasoline.

Sales of electric-powered vehicles increased 14.6 percent on-year to 143,258 units, according to KAMA.

By type, sales of hybrid electric vehicles hit 104,000 units in 2019, while electric vehicles reached nearly 35,000 units. Sales of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles reached 4,195 units in 2019, according to the data.

KAMA said consumers in their 50s were the biggest buyers of automobiles last year. They purchased 292,784 units in 2019, up 2.4 percent from a year earlier.

Automobile sales to consumers aged 60 or older increased 6.7 percent on-year to 164,886 units last year, but car sales to people under the age of 50 suffered a drop.

KAMA said sales of imported vehicles fell 6 percent on-year to 275,134 units last year, citing toughened emission regulations and poor demand for Japanese vehicles as factors that may have dragged down the demand for foreign-made cars.

Sales of locally produced cars, led by Hyundai Motor Co., dropped 0.9 percent on-year to 1.52 million in 2019.


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