Domestic import car sales, which used to be on the rise, have abruptly slowed down. The import car market grew steadily until July, but decreased 6.5% in sales in August. It is most likely that the supply couldn’t meet demand, due to shortages in newer models which sold well.
Shortage of Cars Is the Cause
On September 4, the Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association (KAIDA) announced that the Number of Registrations of Imported Automobiles in August decreased to 13,977, which is 976 (6.5%) less than last month’s 14,953.
It has been estimated that the soaring number of import car sales has halted due to the shortage in supply not being able to meet demand. The number of waitlisted consumers increased, but the number of automobiles did not. If this trend continues, German and European automobile companies may have to supply additional product.
Currently, the models showing a shortage in supply are Mercedes Benz E Class, Volkswagen Golf 7, and Toyota Camry.
The E Class showed a completely different design since its release in July, attracting many consumers, and the Golf 7 model called the “King of Efficiency” is popular for its improved design and high efficiency.
Small Size Vehicles Show Growth
With the shortage of the E Class and other mid-size models, smaller size German models like the Volkswagen Golf have grown significantly.
BMW 1 and the Benz B Class are a few of these models. The 1 Series showed low sales growth when it was first released last year, but grew drastically in the past two months. The 1 Series, consisting of 118D and 120D, sold 98 in May, 156 in June, 156 in July, and 270 in August. Its sales grew 2.7 times in just 3 months. Consumer demand was high for the 118D, despite the high price of 36.50 million won (US$33,398).
The Benz B Class did well also. In July, 118 were sold, but in August 204 were taken off the lots, which is twice as much.
However, the model that sold the most in August is the BMW 520D (804 vehicles), followed by the BMW 528 (562), Volkswagen Golf 2.0TDI (473), Golf 1.6 TDI Blue Motion (433), and Audi A6 2.0 TDI(370).
The top ten by brand starts with BMW in first place selling 3405 cars, followed by Volkswagen with 2493, Mercedes Benz with 1929, Audi with 1857, Ford with 596, Mini with 552, Toyota with 549, Lexus with 416, Honda with 370, and Chrysler with 348.