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Head of import car brand association remains upbeat.

The newly appointed chief of the Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association (KAIDA) said Monday he expects an increase in sales and market share of imported cars, based on brand diversity.

"We have 20 importers of 31 brands as our members, and they have introduced various models to Korean car buyers, as well as investing in establishments of logistics centers and expansion of networks," KAIDA Chairman Chung Woo-young, who is also the CEO of Honda Korea, said at a press conference in Seoul.

In its report released late last year, the association expected 256,000 new imported cars would be registered in Korea this year, up 10 percent from 233,000 the previous year.

Industry officials said the market share of imported cars may surpass 20 percent this year, considering the three major German carmakers a Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi Volkswagen a have come up with massive discounts.

Earlier this year, Mercedes even overtook Renault Samsung and GM Korea, both of which have their manufacturing plants in Korea, in market share.

BMW has also been chasing the market share of domestic car manufacturers.

Audi Volkswagen, which topped the nation's imported car market before the suspension of its sales over its alleged emissions cheating, has been threatening both Korean and foreign companies as well, after its return to the Korean market.

Against this backdrop, the new KAIDA chairman promised to try his best for fair competition of various brands in Korea, so as to continue to offer new concepts and values to customers, allowing them more choices.

The chairman also urged the market to abandon a dichotomous way of thinking, saying importers should be recognized for their role in the nation's car industry.

Chung is the 12th chairman of the association in March 30. The association's members cited his keen interest in the association and his long-term career as reasons for his appointment, expecting him to resolve various difficulties facing the nation's imported car market.

The chairman's term will end in two years.

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Publication:The Korea Times News (Seoul, Korea)
Geographic Code:9SOUT
Date:Apr 30, 2018
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