The Volkswagen Incident is making the huge popularity of German cars among Korean consumers ebbing away. It is projected that it will be inevitable for the market share of German vehicles to decline in Korea until the sale of Volkswagen and Audi cars resumes.
According to the Korea Automotive Importers & Dealers Association on August 16, German cars’ market share hit 57.6% in July, the lowest this year. By contrast, that of Japanese cars stood at 15.5%, up 3.2% from a year earlier while that of US automobiles rose 2%p to 9.4%. That of UK cars rose 3.3%p to 11.7% while that of Swedish vehicles 1.5%p to 2.9%.
This fact means that German cars’ market share in Korea dropped somewhat this year after their market share expanded too much until the end of last year. From January through July, German vehicles chalked up a market share of 63.4%, down 5.1%p from 68.5% a year earlier. On the other side, Japanese, UK and US cars are expanding their markets with their markets share inching up year on year.
Under these circumstances, Land Rover, a UK company, recorded significant growth this year. The UK automaker has sold 6,349 units by the end of July, exhibiting year on year growth of 62.3%. Jaguar also sold 1,907 units, up 19% from a year before.
Japanese cars’ sales growth has been on a sharp rise over the same span. Lexus recorded a year on year increase of 22% by selling 5,230 units. Infiniti and Honda posted 31% and 24% sales increases by selling 2111 and 3524 units, respectively. Toyota also enjoyed a sales increase of 12% by selling 4,959 units.
454 Cadillac models of the US have sold, showing a sales increase of 13.8%. Sales of Swedish Volvo grew 29% year on year by selling 3,030 units. Notwithstanding, German automakers sold the largest number of cars in Korea among foreign automakers. This year’s best seller list was dominated mostly by German cars.
Among the top 10 best-selling models during the January to July period of this year, seven were German cars (Volkswagen, BMW, Mercedes Benz and Audi) and the remaining three were the Lexus ES300h (Japan), the Land Rover Discovery Sport TD4 (UK) and the Ford Explorer 2.3 (United States). Even though a sales ban was put on some models of Volkswagen and Audi, the Tiguan and the Golf ranked first and third in the best-selling car standings of this year.