Used-car market expands, with record sales forecast for 2018


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The market for used cars is expanding rapidly, with anticipated sales this year likely to exceed the 2016 record of 3.78 million units, data from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport showed Thursday.

According to the ministry, 3.16 million used vehicles were registered upon purchase between January and October this year, up 1.2 percent from about 3.12 million tallied in the same time period last year. 

An SK Encar representative inspects a used car. (SK Encar)

Over the past five years, the used-car market has grown from about 3.37 million units in 2013 to 3.47 million in 2014, 3.67 million in 2015 and 3.78 million in 2016. Last year, the figure slightly declined to 3.73 million.

The expansion of the used-car market, according to market insiders, seems attributable to the increasing number of consumers seeking cost-effective vehicles, along with consumer preference for imported cars and improved quality management for used cars.

With leading automakers working to enhance their vehicle-diagnosis and warranty services, consumer confidence has increased, they said.

In the used-car market, the proportion of imported vehicles being sold has increased, according to SK Encar, South Korea’s largest used-car sales platform.

Registered imported vehicles accounted for 24.0 percent of the market, up 2.0 percentage points from the same period last year.

Of the newly registered used imported vehicles, 13,000 were sold with direct warranties from their manufacturers. Last year, only 6,900 cars in this category carried direct warranties.

Among registered used cars, gasoline-fueled cars accounted for the largest proportion at 50.6 percent, followed by diesel cars at 39.8 percent. The proportion of hybrids and electric vehicles inched up from last year’s 1.9 percent to 2.5 percent this year.

But the number of registered used cars that were pure electric vehicles jumped threefold in a year, the ministry data also showed.

By Lee So-jeong (xojeong2@heraldcorp.com)


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