A report in the Korea Herald citing sources among importers suggests that foreign carmakers could capture 10% of the Korean car market by 2012.

The report notes that the importers' share of the South Korean car market rose from around 1% in 2002 to 5% by 2007 as brands such as Peugeot and Honda made gains.

It says that sources in the import vehicle industry predict that the 10% level will be reached in the first half of next year.

The Korea Herald report says that importers captured 6.5% of the local market with sales of 42,700 vehicles between January and May, up from 5.5% in the corresponding period of last year.

“As imported automobiles become increasingly commonplace in Korea, the market is shifting towards smaller, cheaper vehicles,” a foreign carmaker’s spokesman told the newspaper.