Last month, Mercedes-Benz jumped to fifth place in sales by overtaking Renault Samsung for the first time in the Korean automobile market. Therefore, in January, the monthly sales volume of a Korean car manufacturer was eclipsed by that of a foreign automaker for the first time since a strike of unionists at Ssangyong Motors in July of 2009.
According to the Korea Automobile Importers & Distributors Association on February 6, import car sales exceeded 20,000 units last month. Imported cars accounted for 18.25% of the Korean passenger car market, renewing the highest record.
Last month, the number of newly registered import cars in Korea leaped up 26.4% year on year to 20,107. Mercedes-Benz sold 7,509 units last month, towering over BMW (5,407 units), ranking first in terms of brands. Addressing the scarcity of volume among others pulled up sales of the Class E sedan to 4,208 units, the highest sales since its launch in Korea.
Mercedes-Benz’s sales outnumbered those of Renault Samsung (6,402 units) by 1,100. The German automaker came close to GM Korea (7,844 units) and Ssangyong Motors (7,675 units), the third and fourth rankers in the Korean automobile industry.
Lexus (1,236 units) came in third after Mercedes-Benz and BMW. Lexus was followed by Ford (1,007 units), Toyota (928 units), Volvo (849 units), Land Rover (726 units), Porsche (535 units) and Mini (450 units). Audi resumed sales in two years at the end of last year and 214 Audi cars were registered.
By country, sales of import cars of European brands such as those of Germany accounted for 78.9%, followed by sales of Japanese car (14.3%) and sales of American cars (6.8%).
Sales of GM Korea, Ssangyong and Renault Samsung were sluggish last month due to base effects from sales promotions at the end of last year while sales of imported cars grew 3.2% compared to the previous month.