Posted by: rbbadger | November 24, 2008

A true rarity

With the high tariffs on imported cars that the Korean government has set, foreign-made cars are something of a rarity.  It is not for nothing that the dealers of American-made cars are to be found in one of the wealthiest parts of Seoul, namely Seocho-gu.  Almost every car you see is either a Hyundai, a Kia, or a Daewoo.  You might also see a car made by the other Korean car manufacturers Ssangyong or Samsung-Renault, too.  But for the most part, even the luxury cars are made here.  (Being in Japan paradoxically feels a bit more normal.  Every car there is either a Toyota or a Honda.  Just like in America.  But when you see where they put the steering wheel, it feels a lot less normal.  The Japanese, like the British and like in Hong Kong have the steering wheel on the right side of the car and drive on the left side of the road. )

Across the street from Im-dong Cathedral, home of the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Gwangju, is Leehan Motors, Gwangju’s Ford dealership.  While you can’t go far without running into a Kia or Hyundai dealership anywhere in Korea, a Ford dealership is something of a true rarity here. 

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