The Volkswagen rigging scandal has not had a big impact on overall import sales last month. This is because the scandal broke out in late Sept. Moreover, the effects of new import model launches and a cut in the individual consumption tax fueled the growth of the import car market.
According to the Korea Automobile Importers Association (KAIDA) on Oct. 6, in Sept. the registration of Volkswagen cars dropped 7.8 percent to 2,901 units from 3,145 units in Aug. In the month, 583 new Passat 2.0 TDI cars were registered compared to 854 in Aug. So, the model placed fourth. Registrations of the Golf 2.0 TDI fell to 430 from 740. The model ranked third in Aug. Sales of the Audi A6 35 TDI, a luxury brand, also dropped to 661 units in Sept from 795 in Aug.
But the total number of registered import automobiles increased 12.0 percent to 20,381. By months, the figure peaked at 24,274 in June, fell to 20,707 in July, 18,200 in Aug., and turned to rise last month.
By brand, German automakers continued to say strong with Mercedes-Benz (4,329 uits), BMW (3506 units), and Audi (3401 units) making the top three. By fuel, diesel cars came in first with 13,826 units (67.8 percent). Gasoline cars recorded 5595 units (27.5 percent) and hybrid cars 887 units (4.4 percent). A total of 73 electric cars were booked with a share of 0.4 percent. Total sales of import cars from Jan. to Sept. of this year added up to 179,120 units, up 22.8 percent from a year before.
Last year, import cars put up a good fight in the market, so the market share of Hyundai and Kia cars stayed at 64.9 percent. This means that the monthly market share of Hyundai and Kia dropped below 65 percent for the first time in nine years since June 2006 (62.7 percent). Last month, Hyundai Motor sold 51,954 units, up 8.7 percent from a year earlier and up 1.7 percent from Aug.
Kia Motor sold 45,010, a year-on-year increase of 16.6 percent and an increase of 7.8 percent from the previous month. “Last month, a drop in the individual consumption tax and new model launches gave rise to the expansion of the domestic automobile market,” said a representative in the automobile industry. “In Oct., the Volkswagen scandal will begin to affect sales on a full scale.”