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Stars and their Cars, in Korea and Abroad

2006/12/20 Source

Stars and luxury cars go together in the popular imagination: both attract attention, neither are easily accessible to the crowd. But more and more stars here choose prosaic Korean-made minivans as their preferred conveyance, albeit equipped with all mod cons inside. The vans account for half the vehicles parked in TV studio lots these days.

One star's manager says most singers use domestic minivans rather than imported ones, because with more and more people downloading songs on the Internet they can barely sell more than 100,000 copies of their album, whereas in the past they usually sold more than 1 million copies once they became popular. Management companies tend to supply their entertainers with domestic vehicles to cut costs, except for some top stars. Others say that Korean minivans with their improved interior and size are more comfortable and convenient to ride than imported vans.

Still, many tend to prefer an imported luxury car for personal use once they rise to stardom. Men are fond of high-performance sedans and sports cars by BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi, while women favor small cute cars such as Volkswagen's New Beetle and BMW's Mini Cooper. The singing superstar Lee Hyori was recently seen driving Nissan Cube, which is reportedly imported through unofficial routes.

Abroad, some stars collect cars as a hobby. The footballer David Beckham has some 10 luxury cars including a Porsche Carrera GT, a Ferrari and a Lamborghini. Paris Hilton, hotel chain heiress, has a Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren and Rolls-Royce Phantom.

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