Compact Cars Regain Popularity in the Era of Sky-high Gasoline Prices | Be Korea-savvy

Compact Cars Regain Popularity in the Era of Sky-high Gasoline Prices

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SEOUL, April 12 (Korea Bizwire)With gasoline prices setting records, compact cars are regaining popularity in South Korea.

According to the sales records of the nation’s five major carmakers, sales of compact cars reached 30,189 units in the first quarter of this year, up 34.5 percent from a year ago.

This figure is in contrast to the 14 percent decline in the total domestic sales of domestically-made cars in the January to March period of this year.

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Of special note, compact cars overtook small SUVs in sales terms. In the first quarter of this year, the sales of small SUVs fell by 10.3 percent year on year to 25,788 units.

The primary factor behind the rising popularity of compact cars is sky-high oil prices.

Another factor in play is the great improvement in space utilization. As compact cars overcome the limit of small space, consumers are showing increasing preference for them.


Adding to the popularity is the fever of “chabak” (sleeping in car) and food delivery brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

For Hyundai Motor Co.’s Casper mini SUV, the driver’s and rear seats are all foldable. Kia Corp. released a single-seater Ray minicar this year.

Image Credit: Hyundai Motor Co. / Renault Korea Motors / Kia Corp. /

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