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  Foreign Carmakers Compete Furiously on Jeju Island
  Writer : admin1     Date : 16-03-22 17:47     Hit : 797    

Jeju is quickly emerging as a desirable market for foreign carmakers as living standards on the southern resort island rise. Many affluent Koreans from the mainland are moving there, while more and more Chinese investment is pouring in. 

According to the Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association, the number of imported cars sold and registered on Jeju last year surged 84 percent from the previous year to 3,469. Half of them were purchased by private owners.

That puts the island right at the top in terms of sales growth in the country. 

Luxury import sales on Jeju last year do not match the amount in the swanky districts of southern Seoul, but the island ranks above the capital's Mapo district.


Jeju had been a desolate environment for imported cars after Chrysler opened a Jeep dealership there in 1992. But things changed in 2013, when BMW, Ford, Mercedes Benz, Mini, Nissan and Volkswagen all opened showrooms. 

Audi and Peugeot Citroen plan to join the bandwagon this year.

The draw is a massive influx of money. After Jeju started offering residency in 2010 to investors who buy real estate there, more than W1 trillion worth of money has poured into the island (US$1=W1,203). 

Businesses followed. Korea's top mobile messenger operator Kakao transferred its headquarters to the island, prompting many IT experts to relocate there as well. 

As a result, the population of Jeju soared to a record 641,355 last year, at a rate of 1,650 more people every month. 

The island's market for imported cars is expected to grow further as it sets its sights on achieving zero emissions by 2030. Foreign carmakers are expected to grab a bigger slice because they have more eco-friendly models available. 

Electric carmaker Tesla apparently plans to enter the Korean market starting with Jeju. 

"Many imported carmakers recently set up service centers on Jeju to address customers' needs, and this can certainly lead to increasing sales," said Yoon Dae-sung at KAIDA said.


The source by the Chosun Ilbo