Importers are offering substantial discounts in South Korea to support sales after a tax concession on automobile purchases has ended (finishing from September).

DaimlerChrysler Korea has reportedly said that it will cut prices of five models by up to $6,000 this year.

The tax cuts have helped to boost the market this year. However, the domestic makers have been the main beneficiaries - imports take a controversially small share of the Korean new car market.

The Korea Institute for Industrial Economics & Trade (KIET) is forecasting that annual auto passenger car imports to South Korea will reach 51,000 units by 2005 - which compares with around 10,000 units per annum currently. The projected import level will account for a share of the car market of around 3% (assuming a market total of 1.71 million units).