Korean luxury car market revs past Japan in sales

2023.11.20 17:24:01 | 2023.11.20 18:13:22

BMW New 5 Series [Courtesy of BMW Korea]이미지 확대

BMW New 5 Series [Courtesy of BMW Korea]



As South Korea continues to carve a growing slice of the global luxury automobile market, recent trends show that luxury and supercar brands are shifting their attention towards the Korean market over Japan.

According to data from the Korea Automobile Importers & Distributors Association and the Japan Automobile Importers Association (JAIA) on Sunday, new Rolls-Royce registration was 244 units in Korea versus 175 in Japan from January to October 2023.

During the same period last year, Korea accounted for 197 units and Japan for 209 units, with Japan holding the position of Rolls-Royce’s second-largest market in Asia after China. But the tables have turned in 2023 and in just one year, Rolls-Royce sales surged by 24 percent in Korea while decreasing by 16 percent in Japan, while around 1,000 Rolls-Royce vehicles are sold annually in China.

Bentley sales from January to October stood at 683 units in Korea and 528 units in Japan for the same period. Meanwhile, Porsche saw a large sales difference, with 9,690 units sold in Korea compared to 6,653 units in Japan during the same timeframe.

If the current sales trend continues, Porsche is projected to surpass the 11,000-unit mark in Korea by the end of 2023, achieving an annual sales record of over 10,000 units for the first time since official import sales in Korea began in 2005, and ten years since beginning its Korean operation in 2013.

Among imported car brands, BMW and Mercedes-Benz maintain their lead in both Korea and Japan.

From January to October 2023, BMW sold 62,514 vehicles in Korea, while in Japan, the figure was 27,684?barely half of Korea’s sales volume. During the same period, Mercedes-Benz sold 60,988 units in Korea and 41,184 units in Japan.

By Moon Gwang-min and Minu Kim

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