Fine dust drives car accessory sales

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Fine dust drives car accessory sales

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This spring, fine dust was in the driver’s seat. Products meant to combat Korea’s fine dust problem propelled the automobile product market earlier this year.

According to statistics from online retailer Gmarket for January to May of this year, three of the five automobile parts that increased in sales the most from the same period last year were related to fine dust harm reduction. Filters for automobile ventilation systems grew the most, jumping 260 percent over last year. As awareness of the need for air filters has grown, consumers are replacing filters more often than every 15,000 kilometers, which was the norm.

Windshield washer fluid ranked third, with sales increasing by 142 percent. If wipers are used while they are coated with fine dust, they can cause damage to the windshield. Windshield washer fluid helps remove fine dust.

Car mats came in at fifth place, with a 105 percent increase. Coil car mats were so popular that they ranked first in auto product sales from January to May. Coil mats hold fine dust and dirt with tangled coils to prevent car interiors from getting dusty.

New automotive tech products also proved popular this year. Heads-up displays, which grew by 170 percent, were originally designed for aircraft.

Although they did not make it into the top five, car speaker sales went up by 104 percent. A source from Gmarket said, "Due to the influence of the ‘YOLO [You Only Live Once]’ lifestyle and ‘so hwak haeng’ [small happiness] trend, families and day-trippers have started investing in soundsystems for their automobiles.”

According to the National Statistical Office, Korea’s online auto product market was estimated to be worth 1.35 trillion won ($1.24 billion) last year based on online sales alone. Between January and April this year, the auto product market was worth 323.3 billion won.


BY LEE KEUN-PYUNG [ebusiness@joongang.co.kr]

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