South Korea’s import sales decline in October
Sales of imported light passenger vehicles in South Korea fell 16% to 21,329 units in October 2023 from 25,363 units a year earlier, according to the Korea Automotive Importers and Distributors Association (KAIDA). The data did not include some non-affiliated brands, including Tesla.
The market continued to weaken amid a slowdown in consumer spending following a sharp rise in interest rates by the central bank last year, from 1.25% to 3.5% currently. Imports also face stronger competition from domestic brands, including Hyundai’s premium Genesis unit. Sales of domestic automakers fell 2% to 117,622 units last month.
In the first 10 months of the year, import sales fell by 3% to 219,071 units from 225,573 units in the same period of 2022, with German-owned brands accounting for 75% of the total.
BMW It continued to lead the segment with year-to-date sales declining by 3% to 62,514 units despite the launch of the new 5 Series sedan last month, while Mini Sales fell 14% to 7,734 units.
Mercedes Benz Sales for the first 10 months fell 4% to 60,988 units as the brand recovered from steep losses earlier in the year thanks to new electric vehicles such as the EQB SUV and EQE and EQS sedans. Volkswagen Sales fell 30% to 7,819 units while Audi Sales were down 11% at 15,258 units. Porsche Sales jumped 38% to 9,690 units.
Volvo It also announced an increase in its sales by 38%, reaching 13,770 units since the beginning of the year until now, with the company strengthening its range by launching its EX30 battery-powered compact SUV this month. Volvo’s local distributor earlier this year revealed plans to invest US$85 million to strengthen its sales and after-sales network in the country.
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Lexus The brand was the best performing brand this year with a 93% increase in deliveries to 11,008 units, followed by land Rover With a jump of 84% to 4,384 units. Toyota Sales rose 24% to 6,767 units, boosted by the recent introduction of the RAV4 plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and Crown hybrid crossover vehicles as part of a broader plan to launch nine new models from Toyota and Lexus in 2023.
Honda Sales fell 63% to 1,047 units, mainly split between the Odyssey MPV and CR-V. The company just launched two new models, the 3.5-liter Pilot SUV and the 2-liter CR-V hybrid, and the Accord hybrid sedan is scheduled to launch in November.