Although the number of operating days in February were reduced both by the shortness of the month and the Lunar New Year holiday season, the sales of imported cars increased 21 percent year-on-year. This increase stands in sharp contrast with those of domestic carmakers, which recorded the lowest sales in 17 months.
The Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association reported on Mar. 5 that the newly-registered imported cars in February increased 21 percent from last year, selling 16,759 units. The accumulated sales since the beginning of this year to the end of February increased 27.8 percent from the same period of last year, at 36,689 units.
By brand, Mercedes-Benz ranked first for two consecutive months from January with 3,055 units. BMW, which was third last year, won second place this year with 3,004 units, and Volkswagen came in third with 2,913 units. Audi ranked fourth with 2,446 units, down two levels from last year. Ford ranked fifth with 687 units. Lexus became sixth with 511 units, beating Toyota (503 units). It is the first time for Lexus to exceed the sales of Toyota.
By model, the Volkswagen Golf 2.0 TDI sold most with 823 registered units, followed by Volkswagen Tiguan 2.0 TDI Bluemotion (794 units), and the Audi A6 35 TDI (641 units). Peugeot 2008 1.6 e-HDI entered the top 10 for the first time in history. The most sold model among gasoline automobiles is Ford's large sports utility vehicle (SUV) Explorer (214 units).
The popularity of diesel vehicles continued also in February. In total, 11,824 diesel vehicles were registered, which reaches 70.6 percent among all imported cars. Then, gasoline vehicles recorded 25.8 percent with 4,330 units and hybrid cars recorded 3.5 percent with 590 units. Finally, 15 electic vehicles were sold.