Monday, August 28, 2006

Kia Motors, Korean Car Sales, and the Impact of Youth Buyers

Korea's Youth Generation has a growing impact on that nation's buying pattern. One aspect of new consumer trends is that younger Koreans are buying cars. Chosun Ilbo notes...

... a growing segment of the country's driving population has gotten younger, and that translates into some new marketing trends.

Home to the world's fifth largest automobile industry, Korea is close to passing the 4 millionth vehicle in terms of annual production volume. Matching more cars on the road, the average age of first-time car buyers in Korea is getting younger.

One age bracket, in particular, is in the spotlight. Koreans in their 20s have emerged as a key segment among first-time car buyers. As of June this year, they overtook the 40s age group in terms of overall car sales.

Buyers in their 20s made up 22 percent of all new car registrations in June of this year, trailing behind the 30-something bracket, which accounted for 24 percent. Customers in their 40s accounted for just 18 percent of new car registrations.

This relatively new pattern stems from more and more Koreans buying their first cars on entering university or just after they land their first jobs. Offering more affordable installment payment plans, companies like Kia Motors, Korea's number two automaker, are already busy targeting the 20-something crowd.

Kia Motors Notes: Customers buying our new compact Cerato are younger than those buying mid-sized or larger cars. To appeal to this consumer bracket, we ditched the traditional focus on performance and status, and took a more sensual approach.

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