SEOUL, June 27 (Korea Bizwire) – Imports of American cars in South Korea more than tripled in four years, industry data showed Monday, a rise that could be attributable to the free trade deal between Seoul and Washington.
The free trade deal went into effect in 2012, providing a competitive edge to U.S. carmakers.
South Korea imported a total of 49,096 cars from the United States in 2015, up from 13,669 units in 2011, according to data provided by auto industry.
Ford Sales and Service Korea, the local importer and distributor of U.S. automaker Ford Motor Co., sold 10,358 cars last year, up 147 percent from 2011 when it sold 4,184 units, according to data.
The foreign vehicle market in South Korea grew to 244,000 units from 105,000 over the cited period.
Industry officials said the biggest factor behind the growth of sales of U.S. cars in South Korea is competitive prices of American cars following the free trade agreement.
In 2012, South Korea lowered its tariffs on U.S. cars to 4 percent from 8 percent.
South Korea fully lifted import tariffs on imported vehicles from the U.S. earlier this year, a move that could give a further boost to sales of U.S.cars in South Korea.