The Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association announced on May 9 that the number of registered foreign cars grew 25.5 percent year-on-year to reach 16,712 as of April, up 13,320 units from the previous year.
As a result, the April figure exceeded the prior record in March. The number of imported cars sold between Jan. to April of this year was 61,146, a 26.6 percent year-on-year gain.
Per brand, BMW nabbed the top spot with 3,625 vehicles, followed by Mercedes-Benz (3,310 vehicles), Volkswagen (2,609), Audi (1,980), and Ford (799). The top 5 brand rankings were not changed much, but exponential growth of Japanese cars was noticeable from 6th place. The 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th spots were taken by Lexus, Toyota, Nissan, and Honda, respectively.
In particular, much attention was paid to the fact that Nissan posted month-on-month growth of 79.4 percent. A special promotion event held in April to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Nissan Korea appears to be a big factor in the company’s stellar sales growth.
In contrast, Audi saw its sales figures decrease 19.4 percent month-on-month owing to various unfavorable factors including a recall campaign. In fact, the automaker was indicted for using an auto part that exceeds the exhaust emission standards for road vehicles and fined 1 billion won (US$976,000) by the Ministry of Environment last month.
The Mercedes-Benz E 220 CDI became the best-selling model in April with a sales volume of 628 vehicles. The model recaptured the number one position for the first time in seven months. The unwavering number one BMW 520d lost its iron-fisted grip of the Korean market, since just 599 vehicles were sold last month. The Volkswagen Tiguan 2.0 TDI BlueMotion was in the third spot, enjoying continuous popularity in the nation.
By engine type, 11,254 diesel cars were sold last month, making up 67.3 percent of the total. Gasoline cars accounted for 28.4 percent with 4,753 units, and hybrid cars comprised 4.2 percent with 702 vehicles. The popularity of diesel cars continues to show an upward trend. The number of diesel-powered automobiles registered during April represented 67.3 percent, up a 6.9 percent from a year ago.