Sales of import vehicles in South Korea soared more than 20 percent on year in May with German car brand Mercedes-Benz staying as the bestseller for the fifth month in a row.
According to data released by the Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association (KAIDA) on Thursday, the number of newly registered foreign vehicles jumped 21.1 percent to 23,470 units in May from 19,380 a year ago. Cumulative sales of foreign vehicles from January to May also rose 23.7 percent on year to 116,798 units.
Mercedes-Benz sold 5,839 cars in May, keeping its lead among major foreign brands for five consecutive months. It was followed by BMW with 5,222 units, Volkswagen with 2,194 units, Toyota with 1,455 units, Audi with 1,210 units, Land Rover with 1,066 units, Lexus with 1,022 units, Ford with 923 units, Volvo with 780 units, and Mini with 662 units.
Volkswagen also saw a remarkable recovery in its sales after it disgracefully lost its ground in Korea due to two-year suspension for emission cheating. It moved up six notches to the third position in May from April thanks to stellar sales of the new model of its compact sport utility vehicle Tiguan.
Volkswagen’s Tiguan became the second best-selling model after 1,200 units were sold last month, followed by Audi’s A6 35 TDI with 831 units. The top best-selling model was BMW’s 520d with sales totaling 1,239 units.
European brands took the largest share of 77.2 percent in the Korean import car market after selling 18,113 units, and Japanese brands and U.S. brands followed with 15.7 percent and 7.1 percent, respectively.
Diesel-fueled cars were sold 11,766 units, accounting for 50.1 percent in the market, gasoline-fueled cars 9,617 units with a 41.0 percent share, hybrid vehicles 2,062 units with an 8.8 percent share and electric vehicles 25 units with a 0.1 percent share.
By Kang Young-woon and Lee Ha-yeon
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]