Imported car sales in South Korea fell almost 30 percent in April from the previous year mainly due to lack of supply, industry data showed.
According to Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association (KAIDA) on Tuesday, the number of newly registered foreign brand vehicles totaled 18,219 units in April, down 29.7 percent from a year ago but up 0.8 percent from March. The figure extended its year-on-year losing streak for four months in a row.
Imported cars accounted for 14 percent in the local auto market, slightly up from 12.4 percent in March but down from 18.53 percent a year ago, the data found. Foreign brand cars continued to lose ground this year with their share down to 15.9 percent in January, 15.5 percent in February and 12.4 percent in March, after hitting 16.7 percent on average last year.
From January to April, imported vehicle sales also slipped 24.6 percent from the previous year to 70,380 units.
By brand, Mercedes-Benz ranked top in the Korean market by selling 6,543 cars in April with a share of 35.9 percent. BMW trailed with sales of 3,226 units, Lexus 1,452, Volvo 916, Jeep 915, Ford 833, Toyota 831, Honda 735, Mini 725, Land Rover 517 and Porsche 336. Audi and Volkswagen sold none of their cars in the market as they failed to ship any car due to a delay in the regulatory certification process for the newly introduced emission standards in Europe.
The best-selling model was Mercedes-Benz’s E300 with 1,761 units newly registered in April. It was followed by Benz E300 4MATIC with 1,091 units, Lexus ES300h 703 units, Benz GLC300 4MATIC Coupe 596 units, Benz S560 4MATIC 543 units and Ford Explorer 2.3 481 units.
By Lee Jong-hyuk and Choi Mira
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]