SEOUL, July 12 (Korea Bizwire) – Koreans’ infatuation with German-made cars extends well beyond new and used cars and now moves to rental cars. According to the Korea Rent-a-Car Association on July 11, most of the top-ten import car brands registered for rental cars including leased ones as of the end of 2013 were German-made models including BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, and Volkswagen.
The No. 1 rental car brand was the BMW 5 Series including the popular diesel model 520d. Of the total 8,772 imported rental cars registered as of the end of last year, as many as 13.9 percent (1,218 units) were BMW 5 Series cars.
Recent History of BMW
In 1992, BMW acquired a large stake in California based industrial design studio DesignworksUSA, which they fully acquired in 1995. In 1994, BMW bought the British Rover Group (which at the time consisted of the Rover, Land Rover and MG brands as well as the rights to defunct brands including Austin and Morris), and owned it for six years. By 2000, Rover was incurring huge losses and BMW decided to sell the combine. The MG and Rover brands were sold to the Phoenix Consortium to form MG Rover, while Land Rover was taken over by Ford. BMW, meanwhile, retained the rights to build the new Mini, which was launched in 2001. In June 2012, BMW was listed as the #1 most reputable company in the world by Forbes.com. Rankings are based upon aspects such as “people’s willingness to buy, recommend, work for, and invest in a company is driven 60% by their perceptions of the company and only 40% by their perceptions of their products.” (Wikipedia)
The second most popular rental car model was the Mercedes-Benz E-Class with 1,167 cars (13.3%). It was then followed by the Audi A6 (5.5%), the BMW 7 Series (3.1%), and the Lexus ES (2.8%), the only non-German model among the top-five models.
Of the five models from 6th to 10th most popular models, only the Chevrolet Express (1.8%) was ranked No. 7, with all other spots occupied by German cars including the BMW 3 Series, Audi A7, Volkswagen CC, and Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
A rental car industry official commented, “As German-made cars are gaining more popularity, it seems more and more corporate fleet operators and individual leasees are trying to drive German cars at a lower rental and lease cost.
BMW (Bayerische Motoren Werke AG)
Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (English: Bavarian Motor Works), commonly known as BMW or BMW AG, is a German automobile, motorcycle and engine manufacturing company founded in 1916.
BMW is headquartered in Munich, Bavaria. It also owns and produces Mini cars, and is the parent company of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. BMW produces motorcycles under BMW Motorrad. In 2012, the BMW Group produced 1,845,186 automobiles and 117,109 motorcycles across all of its brands. BMW is part of the “German Big 3″ luxury automakers, along with Audi and Mercedes-Benz, which are the three best-selling luxury automakers in the world. (Wikipedia)
Written by Sean Chung (firstname.lastname@example.org)