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Used car market enjoys boom year

Posted October. 05, 2021 07:25,   

Updated October. 05, 2021 07:25


The used-car market in South Korea is enjoying a boom owing to the sluggish production and sales of new cars owing to lack of semiconductor supplies. The secondhand car market is witnessing a massive growth both in the scale of exports and port traffic.

According to the Korea Customs Service and Incheon Port Authority, the export volume of secondhand cars stood at 331,559 as of August this year, up 47.5% from 224,660 from the same period last year. The share of sedans hovered around 261,847 this year, far exceeding the mark of 175,293 in 2020 as well as the record of 2019 at 229,444. With the number of domestic trading traffic poised to surpass 4 million this year, the volume of exports is also expected to supplant the previous record of 468,829 from 2019. New car sales on the other hand are worsening with the major local automakers including Hyundai, Kia, GM Korea facing trouble in production owing to the supply bottleneck of semiconductors and the overseas sales dropping 15.2% year-on-year subsequently.

The exports market of used cars suffered a slump for the outbreak of COVID-19 last year owing to the erosion of consumer confidence and restrictions on the travel of dealers. But the secondhand car market in South Korea is witnessing a bonanza in 2021 even more vibrant than before the pandemic.

The value of exports as of August this year, at 1.34 billion Experts say the current boom is attributable to the supply growth of relatively new local models the 2010s with competitive performance and functionalities and the increased share of more practical smaller-sized cars of 1500-2000cc hovering around 65%. South Korean secondhand cars are being exported to 136 countries across the globe with the partners from Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East being at the center of it such as Libya, Chile, Jordan, Turkey, and Egypt.

Hyung-Seok Seo skytree08@donga.com