Monday, March 10, 2008

Korean Consumerism: Some Koreans Favor Small Cars

Ever increasing gas prices are a global issue. I live in La Jolla, California near San Diego. Nationally, we have some of the highest gas prices in the U.S., but nothing when compared to South Korea.  ( A gallon of gas in Korea costs about $6.80).
My last few posts highlight Korea's luxury car market. Nevertheless, many Koreans to combat rising fuel costs are downsizing.

For example, a Korea Times article cites that Lee Dong-hyun, 28, an employee of an insurance firm, recently sold his 2000cc car and bought an 800cc car in what he calls an unavoidable decision to survive skyrocketing fuel costs.

I cannot do without my car as my job involves me meeting a lot of clients outside my office, Lee said. At current gas price levels, I simply cannot afford a big car.

On top of favoring smaller cars, citizens are relying more on public transportation than before.

The average number of citizens using busses increased 0.8 percent to 4.6 million in 2007 from 4.5 million in 2004, according to the Seoul Metropolitan Government. The number of people using the subway also rose 21 percent to 5.7 million last year from 4.7 million in 2004.

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