Diesels and hybrids all the rage as consumers feel pinchA growing number of Korean drivers opted for diesel and hybrid cars rather than gasoline vehicles in the first seven months of the year due mainly to a recent oil price hike, industry data showed yesterday.
According to the data compiled by the Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association, diesel-powered vehicles took up 25.7 percent of the country’s passenger car market in the January-July period, up from 21.7 percent a year earlier. The passenger car market includes sport utility vehicles.
Sales of vehicles with a diesel engine jumped 12.2 percent on-year during the seven-month period, with 173,623 units sold, while the entire passenger car market retreated 5.2 percent on-year, the data showed.
Hybrid cars accounted for 2.3 percent, with 15,546 units sold during the cited period, also up from 1.1 percent a year ago.
But sales of gasoline-powered cars fell 17.3 percent on-year to 389,388 units in the first seven months of the year, with a share of 57.6 percent, down 8.4 percentage points from a year earlier.
Industry insiders attributed an oil prices hike to the popularity of diesel-powered cars, leading people to put stronger emphasis on a better fuel efficiency.
Domestically, gas prices at the pump topped a record 2,135 won per liter in April and have been hovering around 2,000 won for months.
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