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Luxury imported car sales soar 65.5 pct this year

Economy 08:34 September 13, 2021

SEOUL, Sept. 13 (Yonhap) -- Sales of high-end imported cars spiked nearly 66 percent in the first eight months of the year amid the popularity of big-ticket eco-friendly models among local motorists and a post-lockdown shopping spree, industry data showed Monday.

A total of 45,042 imported vehicles with price tags of 100 million won (US$85,700) or higher were sold in South Korea in the January-August period, up 65.5 percent from a year earlier, according to the data from the Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association (KAIDA).

The figure was above the full-year sales number of 43,158 units for 2020, which was a record high. The tally accounted for 23.2 percent of all imported vehicle sales during the eight-month period, up 7.2 percentage points from a year earlier.

This photo, provided by Mercedes-Benz on Sept. 13, 2021, shows its Maybach S-Class luxury sedan. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

In light of the current pace, sales of luxury imported cars are widely expected to exceed the 50,000-unit mark this year.

By brand, Mercedes-Benz was the top seller of high-priced vehicles with 19,469 units, followed by BMW with 13,029, Porsche with 6,315 and Audi with 2,957.

Industry watchers attributed the strong sales of high-end imported cars to local motorists' penchant for environmentally friendly cars and recreational vehicles, as well as so-called revenge shopping, a post-lockdown shopping splurge on luxury goods.

Sales of high-priced hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles amounted to 23,753 units in the first eight months of the year, up four times from a year earlier and accounting for nearly 53 percent of the total.

A total of 24,159 RVs were sold during the period, up 84.4 percent from a year earlier.

Corporate purchases of high-end imported vehicles came to 29,384 units, or 65.2 percent of the total, during the eight-month period, with individual buyers accounting for the remainder, according to the data.

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