Imported car sales rise 20 pct on-year in first 11 months

SEOUL, Dec. 31 (Yonhap) -- The sales of imported cars rose about 20 percent in the first 11 months of this year on the back of growing popularity of diesel-powered cars, industry data showed Tuesday.

According to the data, 144,092 imported cars were sold in the country in the January-November period, surpassing last year's total sales of 130,858 units. The sales are expected to reach as high as 157,000 in this year's final count.

The fast rise was led by visible popularity of diesel-powered cars, which accounted for over 60 percent of the sales, data showed.

In the first 11 months, 89,614 units of diesel-powered autos were sold, or 62.2 percent of the total.

Dealers say diesel-propelled vehicles of European brands gained popularity from local consumers for their good gas mileage.

By comparison, the number of gasoline-powered cars sold amounted to 49,278, or 34.2 percent of the total, with that of hybrid cars reaching 5,200, or 3.61 percent.

The diesel-powered BMW 520d, of which 7,094 units were sold during the above-cited period, was ranked the best-selling foreign car in the country.

The Volkswagen Tiguan 2.0 TDI BlueMotion, a crossover utility vehicle (CUV) powered by diesel, came in second with 5,255 units sold.

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