In September, sales of mini cars plunged to 8,627 units, the lowest figure since the 8,172 units in January 2009, according to sales data offered by the country's three carmakers.
Mini car models, mostly with a 1.0-liter gasoline engine, sold in Korea include Kia Motors Corp.'s Morning and Ray, GM Korea Co.'s Chevrolet Spark and Renault Samsung Motors Corp.'s two-seat electric car Twizy.
"The sharp decline comes as customers increasingly opt to buy imported vehicles over domestic ones and prefer bigger, environment-friendly vehicles and sport utility vehicles to small cars in general," an official at the Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association said.
Worse still, carmakers have not made investments in mini cars as they are regarded less profitable compared with other models, he said.
In 2017, 138,895 mini cars were sold in Korea, down from 186,702 units in 2014, KAMA data showed. (Yonhap)