Imported car sales in South Korea hit a 19-month high in November. Japanese car sales, which have been on the decline for the past five months, began to rebound. Audi, Volkswagen, and Chevrolet, which have recently launched new models, also posted a sharp sales increase.
The Korea Automobiles Importers & Distributors Association (KAIDA) said on Dec. 4 that imported car sales reached 25,514 units last month, up 14 percent from the same month last year and the highest figure since April last year when sales hit 25,923 units. However, cumulative sales for this year are 214,708 units, down 10.6 percent from the same period last year, when they hit 240,255 units.
Sales of Japanese cars reached 2,357 units last month, 380 units more than in October, when they posted 1,977 units. The figure is down 56.4 percent from the same month last year, but it suggests the beginning of a recovery as sales registered a mere 1,103 units, the lowest ever, in September. All Japanese car brands except Honda saw sales recover compared to October. Nissan and Infiniti, which have launched a large-scale discount campaign, enjoyed a 106.5 percent and 89.3 percent hike in sales, respectively.
Volkswagen, Audi, and Chevrolet have significantly improved their sales as well. Volkswagen ranked fourth among the imported car brands, four steps up from eighth last month, by selling 2,024 vehicles last month. The improvement was led by the Tiguan 2.0 TDI, which sold 1,640 units last month to become the top-selling car model among imported cars, and the Arteon 2.0 TDI, which ranked second among imported diesel models.
Audi placed third with sales of 2,655 units in total. The Q7 45 TFSI Quattro and the A6 45 TFSI Quattro, which were launched recently, ranked second (1,150 units) and third (1,008 units), respectively, among imported cars.
Chevrolet, which was first included in imported car sales tally last month, showed a rapid rise in sales. It took fifth place among imported car brands last month with sales of 1,783 units in total, including the Bolt electric models that sold 824 units. Mercedes-Benz came in first with 6,779 units last month, followed by BMW with 4,678 units.