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Younger Americans Starting to Prefer Korean Car Brands

And, apparently, American car brands too.  Reported in the Los Angeles Times, but citing sources from R.L. Polk & Co. and Edmunds.com, the so-called millennial generation is preferring Korean (by wider margin) and American (by a slowly increasing margin) brands at the expense of Japanese ones.

Polk said American brands had a 37% share of vehicles bought by Americans ages 25 to 34 last year. That’s up from a little over 35% in 2008. The share of purchases by that age group for the Korean brands doubled to 10% during the same time period. Meanwhile, the share of Japanese brands dropped from nearly 51% to 43%.

  • silver surfer

    I’m sure ‘affordable and fuel efficient’ are key concerns for new buyers nowadays. Perhaps GM will finally stop making cars that do 10 miles to the gallon now.

  • PortaJohn

    I think Korean cars keep getting better.. I”m not surprised.

  • cm

    I’m a young guy at heart, and I think the Ford Focus ST, the hot hatch, is a cool car.

  • cm

    Younger people probably don’t remember the hey days when Korean cars had very bad reputation. The older people have long memories and it takes a long time for the brand prejudices to be worn off, if ever.

  • Ladron

    The best thing I can say about the American cars I’ve owned is that they taught me to be a good mechanic.

  • http://www.bcarr.com/ Brendon Carr

    Ford Motor has some hot technology these days, too. The new EcoBoost engine gets a heck of a lot of power out of small displacement (as small as a 1.0L 3-cylinder). That smaller engine, by the way, has been the missing link for American automakers to be competitive in Korea. Ford is advertising quite heavily on my cable-television system here, and the numbers from the Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association (KAIDA) reflect building momentum in the Korean market for our friends at Ford. It gladdens the heart.

  • PortaJohn

    Yeah, I almost bought a ford my last go round. they have a lot of good tech and their interiors are (finally) starting to look good to me. Price was a little high for what I felt I’d get at the end of the day. But they’re nice cars.

  • cm

    Example in point, the new Ford Escape with that small displacement turbo engine that acts big, that’s a perfect vehicle for Korea. It’s one reason why Volkswagen is doing well in Korea as well, with their small turbo and diesel engines that drives like premium cars but sips gas.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    Older people can also afford better cars. I wouldn’t trade my European import for any Hyundai.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    Korean cars aren’t fuel efficient. 10-15 km/L on a compact, and a gutless one to boot…That’s pathetic.

  • cm

    Better in what ways? Reliability wise, Korean cars are way better than any Europeans. European (or more accurately, German) on the other hand have better driving dynamics and brand appeal. Unfortunately they just break down far too often.

  • imememememe

    Get a British car. You’ll learn to hotwire your car by year 3.

  • redwhitedude

    Didn’t Hyundai get in trouble for misleading in gas mileage?

  • pawikirogii

    you know i love korea but i’m no fool. for the longest time, i wouldn’t buy a korean car but then in the last 10 years with so many good things said about hyundai, i decided to buy a sonata. the thing still purrs after five years and 120k miles. all the other cars i had broke down within 3 to 4 years. all of them were japanese. now, i am thinking about buying a genesis.

  • Genie

    I don’t know how anyone can claim youger americans are preferring Korean car brands when the share of purchases by youger americans for Japanese car brands is still 43%. And I’m actually surprised that youger americans have been buying more Japanese cars then Americans cars.

  • que337

    The title says “starting to prefer”. Japan Probe has been so dormant that bored commenters seem starting to prefer Korea blogs.

  • Genie

    Apparently, young americans don’t drive and aren’t buying cars anymore.

    “Why Young Americans Are Driving So Much Less Than Their Parents”
    http://www.theatlanticcities.com/commute/2012/04/why-young-americans-are-driving-so-much-less-their-parents/1712/

    Many young people simply cannot afford cars or gas to do so. I think that main reason younger americans started buying Korean cars is that they are cheaper than Japanese and American cars. And Korean automakers are so desperate to sell their cars that they even make credit available to young buyers who don’t have solid credit history.

  • redwhitedude

    You should check out the number of recalls the honda and toyota have had over the last few years. They have seem have lost their way.

  • pawikirogii

    i like this genie cuz he so illustrates the last gasp of japan. your people thought koreans would never do better than the japanese. think again, shibarusekki (씨발으새끼).

  • f52528fieis9

    die of aids moron

  • yangachibastardo

    I read the article and some of the comments, basically the same crap i hear around here. A bunch of bums living in bankrupted societies, trying to spin their poverty into coolness. In the meantime China becomes the largest market in the world for pretty much every consumer good, including big ticket items like cars…(bitter) hilarity ensues

  • wangkon936

    Parts are expensive as f*uck too.

  • wangkon936

    Personally I think yok mal is better used againt things rather than against specific people.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    Fuel economy, performance, styling, in cabin noise, suspension,…You know, all the things that count.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    When you consider how much you waste on gas driving a Korean car, parts aren’t that expensive.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    It wouldn’t surprise me. They had to pay fines in Canada for doctoring the horse power tests. I was talking about it with my mechanic when I was still driving a Hyundai and he was aware of it, but the other customers weren’t. They thought I was making it up until he said that it was indeed true. Korean consumers are kept in the dark about these things.

  • Isaac

    I love my Hyundai Elantra.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    Sure. The Ford Focus, as previously mentioned, gets rave reviews in Europe.

  • http://www.bcarr.com/ Brendon Carr

    If you think five years and 120,000 miles is some kind of durability champion, more power to you.

  • http://www.bcarr.com/ Brendon Carr

    I’m a VW man at heart. Bring back the Karmann Ghia!

  • SomeguyinKorea

    The current VW models are due for an update.

  • babotaengi

    Bought a Sonata myself in 2007. They do use a shit ton more gas than it claims on the sticker. Traded it in for a ‘European’ deisel. Much better mileage, that’s for sure. Everyone warned me that I wasn’t gonna like driving it, because the suspension is built for smooth, German roads, not the daily patch up jobs done on Korean streets. Upon test driving, I had to assume that if this were true the Sonata must have been built for exlusive freeway travel.

  • pawismom

    Hahaha,

    Someone points out that there may be a reason for choice, and instantly gets an anti-Japanese, Korea-no-1 message with an insult attached.

    Says a lot for your level of intellect. Lose the reflex inferiority complex and you might enjoy life more, shibarusekki

  • 바위기러기

    hey someguy, u once told us you not ne asian or white. c u talking smack bout korean cars but i must ask, your people build cars? i know they drive them but make em and sell em to others? leave that to the koreans, jjokbarusekki.

  • babotaengi

    Perhaps his people don’t need to make the cheap cars they drive. That’s what Koreans are for. Why bark when you have a dog?

  • jinrohelium

    This blog is hilarious. Look at how anyone questioning the validity of this report is being abused with anti-Japanese statements. Jeez, if what happened to ‘jeong’? Lol

  • pawi’smomma

    Yep, not only do they build them, they invented them. And they weren’t dishonest about the miles per gallon when doing so.

    Back to momma’s basement to jerk your tiny cock with you!

  • pawikirogii

    uh oh, looks like we got another pissed off ex pat. first time discrimination? did you get a fork instead of some chopsticks? btw, in the off chance that you aren’t white or ne asian but are western, i apologize for offenidng you with the above comment.

  • pawikirogii

    where did i write about durability, lawyer? i wrote about my surprise that a korean car lasted longer than all the japanese cars i’ve had. that’s all.

  • pawikirogii

    yes, but why? why did the japanese lose their way? i have a hard time understanding that one.

  • pawi’smomma

    Uh oh, looks like we got another tiny weener virgin boy who’s angry with the world because he can’t get laid and wants his beloved motherland to be no.1.

    On the off chance that I offended you, good. Enjoy your Sunday night jerkin’

  • SomeguyinKorea

    You obviously don’t know much about cars…or logic.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    Most cars sold in the US are made there, regardless of whether the manufacturer is Japanese, German, or Korean.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    I have driven the new Sonatas. Nice car, but I could feel noise and vibrations from the road coming through the floorboards. Very disappointing.

  • yangachibastardo

    Are they ? Domestic production and sales numbers don’t seem to match

  • yangachibastardo

    VW is the short of the decade

  • PortaJohn

    I would be a VW guy at heart if I wanted to spend the money necessary to keep it running after it reaches 7 or 8 years of age and starts to go through an unending sequence of electrical / sensors issues. I REALLy wanted to be a CC last go round, but the concerns about long term reliability were too much fo rme in the end. I bought an Acura TSX.

  • PortaJohn

    Honda got in quite of bit of hot water for overstating mileage on their first round of hybrids, if I recall correctly. Or was it Toyota? ? To the internet!

  • PortaJohn

    http://blogs.cars.com/kickingtires/2012/11/hyundai-kia-to-pay-900000-owners-for-misstated-fuel-economy.html
    Here is the first relevant link that came when I did a search for misstating mileage.

  • PortaJohn
  • Night And Day

    I used to drive a European diesel, they broke down after 3rd year and kept breaking it down for the next 2, before I got so sick of looking at my wallet and the car itself, I got rid of it and bought Korean. After the 4th year, the Hyundai keeps going and going with zero problems. The gas car isn’t as fuel efficient as the European diesel was, but comparing milages with diesels with gas, is unfair. Good luck with your European, after your fifth year. My neighbor bought a 2006 VW Passat diesel, he just got slammed with a $4500 bill to fix his broken car. Before that, he had to pay $2500 for the same problem that never got fixed properly in the first place. With that kind of money he could have gotten a better reliable car.

  • Night And Day

    But they’re always last in reliability and customer satisfaction rankings.

  • Night And Day

    I meant in Europe where the reviews are done.

  • Night And Day

    All the things that count except reliability. lol… what good are all those, if the cars break down and spend most of their time in the garage, getting fixed?

  • redwhitedude

    Look at the recalls. Sure they had recalls before but this frequently? Not to mention the defects.

  • redwhitedude

    True, but the article also points out youth from higher income are not too keen on owning cars. Korean automakers are not desperate. And the perception that the can compete only on price is no longer true.

  • LaCoreen

    Yup. It’s like we can’t even admit how soul-less and bland the Korean automotive industry really is but quality and price wise they offer edge over Japanese cars, which are unfortunately has a higher premium due to higher wage and worker pension compared to Korean counterparts. Abe-nomics aims to restore the honor, but in reality Japanese automakers need not worry, you are actually competing with one giant conglomerate with serious lack in innovation.

    I think if Korean car companies want to be taken seriously among car enthusiasts, they would need to produce a V10 at least naturally aspirated mid engine car, new car branding, F1 team, and feature ‘home grown technology’, but this is still not enough. The decades of piggybacking off other countries designs and processes, there was no room for such “creative” innovation and that voidness is the “turn off” feature in Korean cars compared to other sports cars.

    Nevertheless, I think the RWD Genesis coupe is a great start but it’s got some time to go.

  • bumfromkorea

    Look at how anyone questioning the validity of this report is being abused with anti-Japanese statements.

    Yeah, all…. one of them. Quick, someone call the UNHRC!

  • Frankurtburger

    “creative”, “innovation”, “cheap”, yadi yadi yadi.

    This is now the standard cut and paste comment to describe any inkling of Korean success. Give it a rest.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    I didn’t buy a VW.

    Also forgot safety. There was a report on TV the other day about Korean-made cars sold in Korea. They are made to much lower safety and quality standards than the ones sold abroad.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    I didn’t say I’d buy one. I’m baffled by some Europeans’ love for Ford, frankly.

  • que337

    You’ve written comments using multiple ids, such as ‘Asian’, ‘JustNobody’, and now ‘Frankurtburger’. One of your remarks was interesting:

    “Don’t kid yourself, wherever you chinks go, stink follows. You guys stink up the place with rot and filth, and I’m not even Korean, I’m another non-Chinese Asian who is sick of you chinamen overpopulating the earth like cockroaches. Look at all the crap that comes out of China and China Towns.”

  • chopchop

    I agree with some comments here, South Korea needs to step up on its automobile industry.

  • PortaJohn

    er…BUY a CC

  • p’smomma’smomma

    Did someone urinate on you or yell at you in the street? Why so angry and bitter, expat? And what kind of laughable comeback is “tiny weener virgin boy” and “can’t get laid” and “jerkin’”? LOL, someone who is that obsessed with sexual innuendos really must be stuck back in high school. Signed, pawi’smomma’smomma

  • Arghaeri

    So lasting longer isn’t classed as durability in your world!!!

  • Arghaeri

    and more expensive too. but old news both.

  • Arghaeri

    With around 1.4 billion people the only surprise is that it took so long

  • http://humesbastard.wordpress.com/ Hume’s Bastard

    Diesels are easier to repair, too, if you DIY. Consumers who can’t fix their own machines should factor in repair costs at two or three the cost of key parts, and stop bitching, because they are spoiled, lazy, and ignorant. The prettier the sales pitch, the uglier the reality. Korean companies just give consumers what they deserve.

  • http://humesbastard.wordpress.com/ Hume’s Bastard

    Then you know it doesn’t really matter what brand you buy. The fault is with the consumer. Companies are always profit maximizing. Talk about a discussion based on a faulty understanding of probabilities!

  • jk

    I traded my BMW for a new Genesis sedan. I love it. Those who dont try one will wind up paying more for less.

  • jk

    Just bought a new Genesis its fantastic. Still have our Sonata too. Great cars!

  • jk

    My old sonata has 315000 on it and still going and I have never done anything but maintain it at cheap cost