New models drive up demand for foreign cars

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New models drive up demand for foreign cars

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Sales of imported vehicles rose 9 percent last month from a year earlier on the back of steady demand for new models, a trade association said yesterday.

A total of 9,441 cars were sold here in January, compared with 8,659 units sold a year earlier, according to the Korea Automobile Importers & Distributors Association (KAIDA).

The January figure marked a 19.8 percent jump from the previous month, when 7,879 vehicles were sold.

Foreign car brands enjoyed a boom in 2011, as a combined 105,037 units were sold last year, up 16 percent from the previous year and topping the 100,000 mark for the first time.

“Sales of imported vehicles rose in January as new vehicle models fueled demand,” said KAIDA in a statement.

German brands swept the best-selling brand titles. BMW topped the list with 2,347 units sold here, followed by Mercedes-Benz with 1,330 units and Audi with 1,148 units.

By size, vehicles with a 2.0-liter or smaller engine were slightly more popular, taking up 41.9 percent of the market, and cars with a 2.0-liter or bigger engine accounted for 40 percent.

By origin, European vehicles dominated the market with a combined 72.5 percent market share, followed by Japanese manufacturers with 19.2 percent and U.S. automakers with 8.3 percent. Yonhap

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