A decreasing number of passengers leave South Korea through Incheon International Airport due to the novel coronavirus outbreak. Photo courtesy of UPI News Korea

Even tech-savvy South Koreans typically purchased utomobiles face-to-face meetings with dealers. But the new coronavirus outbreak changes their behaviors.

GetCha, an app-based platform to trade cars, said Wednesday that the number of applicants for online consultations in March more than doubled compared to February.

Dealers who asked to have non-face-to-face meetings also increased 273 percent month-on-month.

A GetCha official said that the social-distancing campaign discourages consumers from visiting showrooms, which prompts dealers to find an alternative way of meeting with potential buyers.

The Seoul-based outfit said that potential customers can minimize human-to-human contacts via mobile apps because they don’t have to meet with dealers before a test drive.

Along the same line, South Korean companies have strengthened their online sales channels. Some corporations decided to introduce video phone interviews with job applicants.

By contrast, the novel COVID-19 coronavirus continues to block people from taking a flight as amply demonstrated by the plunging number of airport users.

Incheon International Airport said Tuesday that around 610,000 passengers visited or left South Korea through the country’s largest airport in March, compared to 5.88 million a year before.

That means that the daily number of passengers was less than 20,000 on average last month, compared to some 190,000 a year ago.

In particular, the figure was a mere 7,354 on March 30, which is the smallest since its commercial launch in early 2001.

The number of new COVID-19 cases have stabilized at around 50 a day in South Korea. But the government requires people to keep guidelines for social distancing to prevent the epidemic’s spread.


This article is provided by UPI News Korea. _ ED.