The number of cars sold in Korea fell in 2021, but as the sales went up, the figure increased and reached an all-time high.
A total of 1.7 million cars were sold in Korea last year, 9 percent less than in 2020, according to data released by the Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association (KAMA) on Wednesday.
“Tax incentives and revenge purchases drove up demand for cars in Korea in 2020,” the association explained.
“In 2021, car sales couldn’t even reach the recent average due to disruptions in supply chains, which led to a delay in the delivery of cars.”
On average, 1.8 million cars have been sold in Korea per year over the past five years.
In terms of value, car sales totaled 76.6 trillion won ($62.9 billion) in Korea last year, a record high and up 1.8 percent.
“The growing demand for imported cars, large SUVs and electric cars is the main reason for this increase,” the association said.
The average price of a car sold in Korea was 44.2 million won last year, breaking the 40 million won mark for the first time.
The popularity of imported cars, including so-called super cars costing over 400 million won, continued.
The number of imported cars sold in Korea hit a record high last year of 309,000, up 2.3 percent, while unit sales of domestic cars fell 11.1 percent.
A total of 1,542 super cars, including Ferrari, Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Lamborghini and McLaren models, were sold in 2021, up 25%.
By sales amount, imported cars accounted for 32% of the 76.6 trillion won market. This is the first time that imported cars account for more than 30% of the Korean car market in terms of sales amount.
Among imported brands, German brands are in the lead, with 192,000 sales, up 2.6%. A total of 48,000 American cars were sold, up 6.4%.
Koreans bought 17,833 Teslas, up from 11,829 in 2020.
The popularity of large SUVs and electric vehicles (EVs), which tend to be more expensive than sedans and internal combustion engine vehicles, has helped boost sales.
The number of large SUVs sold in Korea last year jumped 5.4%, while sedan sales fell 16.1%.
The number of electric vehicles sold in Korea stood at 100,355 last year, up 115.2%, while unit sales of gasoline cars fell 10.8% and motor cars 29.2% diesel.
BY JIN EUN-SOO [email@example.com]