The cumulative sales of imported cars from January until August this year surpassed 100,000, two months faster than last year and the fastest ever.
The Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association on Wednesday said 13,977 imported cars were sold in August, down 6.5 percent from the peak in July but still 32.2 percent more than a year ago.
In the first eight months of this year a total of 103,417 imported cars were sold, up 23.7 percent from the corresponding period of last year.
Korean cars, by contrast, are floundering. Around 800,000 Korean cars were sold here in the first eight months of this year, down 2.5 percent from a year ago.
BMW was the bestselling foreign brand with 3,405 cars sold, followed by Volkswagen with 2,493 and Mercedes-Benz with 1,929. Audi was a close fourth with 1,857 and Ford came in fifth with 596.
If the sales of 522 Minis are combined with BMWs, the total sales of the BMW Group rise to 3,957, which accounts for about 40 percent of all imported cars sold last month.
The major patterns of the imported car market -- a preference for German diesel cars with an engine capacity under 2,000 cc -- continued in August with 59.5 percent.
Some 28.9 percent of the imported cars sold in August had an engine size between 2,000 and 3,000 cc, and 11.6 percent had larger engines.
Diesel cars accounted for 63.9 percent, gasoline cars for 33.1 percent, and hybrids for three percent.
German brands overall continued to dominate with 70.5 percent of the imported cars sold in Korea last month. Japanese brands were the runner-up with 12 percent and U.S. cars came third with 6.9 percent.
The BMW 520d with a 2,000 cc diesel engine was the most popular imported car with sales of 804.
Yoon Dae-sung of KAIDA said, "Cumulative sales in the first eight months of this year have already outpaced sales for the whole of 2011 and exceeded what we achieved last year by the end of October. Although most orders for a certain number of very popular models were expedited, supply could not meet demand, so sales in August went down a little from July."