BMW continued to take the lead again in the local import automobile market last year. However, it will become more difficult to predict the future, because the competition of Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen can't be ignored.
According to the Korea Automobile Importers & Distributors Association on Jan. 7, BMW had the largest number of cars newly registered, with 40,174 units last year. It is the first time for a single imported car brand to surpass 40,000 units of yearly sales. BMW has won the number one position for six consecutive years since it became first in the industry in 2009.
After that followed Mercedes-Benz selling 35,213 units and Volkswagen selling 30,719 units (surpassing 30,000 units for the first time), which ranked second and third each by a slight difference. Benz was pushed back to the third place by Volkswagen last year, but it regained the second place this year.
BMW, however, gave the first place to other carmakers in the best-selling model, which is a matter of pride as much as the total sales. Last year's best seller was the Volkswagen Tiguan 2.0 TDI Bluemotion, which sold 8,106 units. The BMW 520d ranked second with 6,546 units, which had won first place for the previous two years in a row. For Benz, the E220 CDI won the third place for the first time, with 5.921 units, displacing the E300, which had ranked in the top 3 for the last several years.
An official from the imported car industry said, “This year's imported car industry will have an intense service competition through quantitative and qualitative improvements rather than simple sales promotion competition,” adding, “To catch up with BMW, which is definitely taking the lead in the service network area, imported car distributors ranking lower than BMW need to expand their service network.”
Meanwhile, sales of imported cars in 2014 hit a record high of 196,359 units in history, up 25.5 percent from 2013.