For used cars, Hyundai is still king of the road

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For used cars, Hyundai is still king of the road


Hyundai Motor’s Grandeur TG and BMW’s new 5 Series were the most popular models for used-car sales in the domestic and imported car categories last year, according to SK Encar, the country’s largest used-car dealer.

The Grandeur TG, known as the Azera overseas, registered the most transactions in both sales and purchases, SK Encar said.

Besides the Grandeur, Hyundai, the nation’s top automaker, had eight other models on list for the top 10 best-selling domestic used-car models. The only non-Hyundai car on the list was Kia Motors’ midsize sedan, the K5.

“It’s very rare for Hyundai Motor to dominate the best-selling used-car list as it did this year,” the company said in a release. “Since used-car trade volume is affected by sales of new cars and brand preferences, Hyundai’s dominance shows that the automaker did fight hard despite a slump in domestic car sales.”


In the imported car category, BMW, which is also the No. 1 best-selling foreign brand in new car sales, topped the list with its new midsize 5 Series, followed by the new 3 Series in second. SK Encar said that BMW has never surrendered its No. 1 or runner-up spots since the list began.

As for the market for new cars, German brands dominated the top 10 list. According to SK Encar, eight out of the 10 of the best-selling foreign models were German. The Lexus IS250 (seventh) and Chrysler 300C (10th) were the only non-German models.

“As consumers pay attention more to fuel efficiency, the popularity of foreign diesel cars is going up, and it seems the preference for German cars, which are known for solid technology and performance, will go up,” the company said.

By segment, sport utility vehicles were the most preferred among domestic cars, while midsize sedans were popular in imported cars.

Following the rise in popularity of camping and leisure activities, SUVs edged out midsize sedans.

“In the second half, there were summer vacations and the Chuseok holidays, and people seemed to have preferred SUVs that had large cargo spaces,” the company said. “Also, as the winter season came, consumers tended to look for four-wheel-drive SUVs.”

In the imported car segment, midsize cars accounted for 31.2 percent of the used-car sales followed by compact cars (25.4 percent) and full-size sedans (16.9 percent).

SK Encar said that rising popularity of compact cars is noticeable in the imported car market.

“In the new car market, many auto brands have released small and efficient cars to embrace young customers, and this is also affecting the used-car market,” SK Encar said. “In 2009, the compact car segment only accounted for 18.8 percent of total sales, but now it’s 25.4 percent.”

According to SK Encar data, used-car buyers of both domestic and foreign cars preferred a price range between 10 million won ($9,534) and 20 million won. Domestic cars priced at more than 20 million won accounted for only 14.8 percent of total sales.

For imported cars, the price range of 20 million won to 30 million won came in second. The cars in this range were best-sellers in 2012, but the latest list shows that trading prices of imported cars are falling with the rising popularity of small cars.

“In the past, consumers tended to buy large sedans, but now SUV and compact car sales are increasing,” the company said. “Since more consumers are trying to save money and get greater value, the used-car trade will also likely to be active this year.”

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