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Despite high price tag, luxury SUV sales rising

Aug 28,2017
Sales of luxury sport utility vehicles are on the rise in Korea as more local consumers are choosing larger cars over sedans, according to industry data released Sunday.

The global SUV market has grown rapidly in recent years, with SUVs accounting for 25 percent of total car sales in 2016, up from 17 percent in 2012, according to data from the Korea Automobile Importers and Exporters Association. In Korea, the portion taken up by SUVs jumped to 41 percent last year from 22 percent in 2009.

To grab a share in the Korean SUV market, foreign automakers like Mercedes-Benz and Maserati have either upgraded or launched new SUV models. They have been well-received despite a high price tag, up to 380 million won ($340,000) for a Mercedes-Benz AMG G 65 463 edition.

“As carmakers come up with more sophisticated and high-performance SUVs, some high-income earners are looking for multipurpose models instead of sedans,” an official from the association said.

Among imports, Mercedes-Benz sold 2,908 GLE models in the January-July period, jumping from 1,725 a year earlier. Sales of BMW’s X5 also climbed to 1,936 from 1,148 during the same period.

The Korea Automobile Importers and Exporters Association expects local demand for high-end SUVs will remain strong in the next three to four years in line with global market trends. YONHAP