It has been found that Japanese hybrid models are taking the place of German diesel cars in the South Korean market in the wake of the Volkswagen emissions scandal.
The Korea Automobile Importers & Distributors Association announced on March 12 that Japanese carmakers sold a total of 5,656 cars in South Korea in January and February this year to account for 17.2% of the local market. Their sales volume and market share increased by 37% and 4.3 percentage points from a year ago, respectively.
During the period, Lexus sold 1,620 cars (up 56.6% year on year), Toyota sold 1,636 (up 113.6%), Honda sold 1,174 (up 31.2%) and Nissan sold 968 (up 40.9%). Meanwhile, Infiniti’s sales volume fell 65.3% to 258. The Lexus ES300h joined the top 10 list in both months, when the sales volumes of Toyota Camry Hybrid and Prius reached 350 (up 84.2%) and 390 (up 3,445.5%), respectively. The figure rose by 98.8% to 161 for the Infiniti Q50S Hybrid and to 273 for the Honda Accord Hybrid.
As described above, Japanese cars are increasing their popularity in the South Korean automobile market, led by hybrid models. Japanese cars’ market share in South Korea stood at 11.9% in 2015, the lowest level since 2002, but rebounded to 15.7% last year.