Posted October. 22, 2008 03:01,
Koreans prefer large sedans with bigger engine, according to the results of a survey released yesterday.
The Korea Transport Institute studied 986,000 passenger cars registered last year, and found that the average engine was 2.113 liters, 21 percent higher than the European average of 1.744.
Among major European countries, the average engine size last year was 1.777 liters in the United Kingdom; 1,680 in France; 1,863 in Germany; 1,558 in Italy; and 1,970 in Luxembourg.
The proportion of large sedans among newly registered cars in Korea last year was 56 percent. The figure was much higher than those of the United Kingdom (13 percent); France (11 percent); Germany (22 percent); and Italy (9.6 percent).
The share of compact cars with engines less than one liter in Korea dropped to 48 percent from 157,000 units in 1998 to 82,000 last year. The number of small sedans with one to 1.5 liter engines fell from 62,000 to 43,000 over the same period.
The number of mid-sized sedans (1.5 to two liters), however, jumped 140 percent from 218,000 to 303,000. That of large sedans with engines two liters or bigger grew 430 percent from 132,000 to 558,000 over the period.
The rapid growth of mid-and large passenger cars was not only due to higher per capita income in Korea, but also due to changes in laws and regulations, the institute said.
The consumption tax for large sedans dropped from 40 percent of the price of a vehicle in 1977 to 10 percent. In the early 2000s, taxes on diesel were lower than those on gasoline, resulting in an increase in the number of leisure vehicles with larger engines.