Automotive data company EurotaxGlass’s says that for a number of years Korean manufacturers have been marketing vehicles in Europe that are primarily designed for the Asian market, giving them limited European appeal. It said: ‘For most European consumers, not even the low prices could compensate for the perceived lack of quality and unappealing design.’
But the study found in recent years, Koreans have worked hard to redress these issues and are now producing ‘attractive, high-quality products’ that target European buyers.
Figures show sales of Korea cars are up by 5.3% year-to-date compared to the same period last year.
Martin Verrelli, head of EurotaxGlass’s market intelligence unit, said: ‘The combination of high specification, improved quality and designs that appeal to European tastes, have made Korean products more attractive. The economic advantages associated with Asian manufacturing allow for very competitive pricing and the established European volume manufacturers are really feeling the pressure.’
He added: ‘If Korea continues to produce desirable vehicles at prices that undermine European brands, we may see the complexion of Europe’s car market volume segment change significantly over the next few years.’
Korean products now account for 3.85% of the European car market compared to 2.88% in 2002.