Imports of European Cars Surge as Sales Resume

  • By Gwak Rae-geon

    July 10, 2018 13:28

    Imports of German cars surged in the first half of this year and boosted European carmakers' market share in Korea. Japanese and American cars fared poorly by comparison.

    According to the Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association on Monday, European cars accounted for a 77.8 percent market share in the first half, up 3.9 percentage points from the same period of last year. A total of 109,053 European cars were registered here, up 24.8 percent on-year. Sales of German cars rose 27.2 percent to 88,079, while their market share increased 4.3 percentage points to 62.9 percent.

    Audi and Volkswagen, which sold just 919 cars in Korea in the first half of last year amid an emissions-rigging scandal, sold 10,279 cars in the first half of this year as they resumed sales after a sales ban. The two German carmakers offered hefty discounts to boost their brand credibility after the scandal.

    Mercedes-Benz and BMW maintained their solid lead, and their combined market share totaled 54 percent. Seven of the top 10 bestsellers were German. No. 1 was the Mercedes-Benz E200 with 6,875 cars sold, followed by the BMW 530d with 6,706, the Mercedes E300 4Matic with 4,891, and the Audi A6 with 3,205.

    The U.K.'s Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Jaguar, Land Rover and Mini also saw a 17.2-percent rise. France's Peugeot Citroën saw a 17.7 percent rise and Sweden's Volvo 19.3 percent.

    Sales of American and Japanese cars dropped. Sales of Ford, Lincoln, Cadillac, Jeep and Chrysler cars fell 0.5 percent to 9,771, and the market share of American cars fell from 8.3 percent to seven percent.

    Japan's Toyota, Lexus, Nissan and Infiniti saw a 1.5 percent rise over the same period, but their market share fell from 17.8 percent to 15.2 percent.

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