The number of imported vehicles that were registered in South Korea surpassed the 600,000 mark for the first time last month as demand grows among local consumers for cars manufactured by overseas automakers, data showed Sunday.
A total of 606,825 imported cars were registered as of the end of January, up from the 597,766 vehicles registered the previous month, according to the data from the Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association (KAIDA).
The local market for imported cars has been growing rapidly on the back of a diversified line-up and growing interest in foreign vehicles. In 2011, a total of 105,037 imported cars were sold here, up 16 percent from a year earlier and exceeding the 100,000 mark for the first time, according to separate data from the agency.
By brand, BMW topped the list with 108,273 cars, or a market share of 17.8 percent. Mercedes-Benz came next with 92,406 units, followed by Lexus with 52,361.
BMW’s 528 was the best-selling model with 20,691 cars registered. Mercedes-Benz’s E300 and Lexus’s ES350 trailed with 15,000 units each.
In contrast, there were only one Renault and eight Opel vehicles registered.