On August 7, automobile industry officials said with a unanimous voice, “We could not meet the high demand owing to the limited supply,” speaking of import car sales in July.
July is actually known to be a low season for buying cars, but import car sales in July this year increased sharply by 38.9% when compared to last year. In fact, many models were short on supply, which means that the number of actual sales is higher than the one reported.
On August 6, the Korea Automobile Importers & Distributors Association (KAIDA) announced that 14,953 new import cars were registered in July, which shows a 16.9% increase compared to June. The accumulated sales from January to July marked 89,440, which is also 22.5% higher than 73,007 in the same period last year.
Considering that Hyundai Motor’s domestic sales in July decreased by 1.5%, it seems that the import car market moves in the opposite direction of the domestic one.
Amid the continuous success of the German top 4 imported car companies” (BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Volkswagen), the rise of diesel compacts and sedans in particular contributed to this growth.
Their new models also contributed to performance. Last month, Volkswagen achieved the highest sales in its history with the Golf Mk 7 and the sports utility vehicle (SUV) Tiguan. Consumers were attracted to Tiguan’s affordable price and high fuel efficiency.
Industry experts expect import car sales to be stellar again this month. Many consumers are wait listed for some popular models. For the Mercedes-Benz E Class, about two thousand people have already paid their down payments. Audi’s SUV type SQ5 model has also been announced to be available after a two to three month wait.
A representative of Audi Korea said, “When it comes to popular models, it’s not about how many we can sell but how many we can import,” and explained, “I believe consumers are attracted to the affordable price on these upgraded models.”
Since its release last month, a total of 1,041 Volkswagen Golf Mk 7 models were sold in only 21 days. This model gained such extreme popularity that the wait was up to two or three months.
By brand, BMW also kept its position in July as Most Sold Vehicle by registering 3,023 cars, and Volkswagen ranked second with 2,696. Mercedes-Benz ranked third by registering 2,567 cars, Audi at fourth with 1,776 cars, and Toyota fifth with 737 cars.