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30% of owners of Korean cars consider foreign brands: study

About 30 percent of domestic car owners would consider foreign cars for their next choice, a study showed Friday.

According to SK Encar, a leading used car dealer here, about 30 percent of motorists owning cars manufactured in Korea said they would shift to imported one if buying a car within in one year. The rest said they would choose another locally made vehicle next time.

The survey asked 2,604 car owners, 86 percent of which owned domestic cars, the company said.

Meanwhile, 83 percent of imported car owners said they would stick with a foreign brand if they bought a new one.

In particular, foreign car owners showed loyalty toward German brands.

About 42 percent of Benz owners said they would buy the same brand, while 36 percent of the BMW owners said they would, according SK Encar’s survey.

The list of car brands with loyal motorist also included Kia Motors with 32.8 percent, followed by SsangYong Motor and Hyundai Motor with 28.8 percent and 27.8 percent, respectively. About 25 percent of Volkswagen owners said they would buy another vehicle with the same brand while 19.3 percent of Chevrolet owners and 14.9 percent of Renault Samsung owners said they would stay with the same brand next time.

Respondents, however, appeared to be inclined to judge cars on their merits, rather than adhering to a specific brand or origin.

Reliability and durability of vehicles were the two most important decision-making factors, followed by design and price, the study showed.

“It appeared that car buyers consider things other than just brands when purchasing a new car,” said Park Hong-kyu at SK Encar.

“Consumers are showing more reasonable disposition when buying a new car, when compared from (consumer preferences in) the past. Car manufacturers should make efforts to enhance qualities of their cars,” he added.

By Shim Woo-hyun (ws@heraldcorp.com)
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