Tesla Becomes 3rd Biggest Car Exporter to Korea

  • By Ryu Jung

    May 11, 2020 11:50

    Tesla has risen to the No. 3 spot in sales of imported cars in Korea.

    According to first-quarter figures announced by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy on Sunday, Tesla sold 4,070 cars here to come third after Mercedes-Benz' 15,400 and BMW's 11,331, outpacing Chevrolet's 3,810, Volvo's 3,190 and Audi's 3,190 vehicles.

    Tesla even sold more electric cars than homegrown Hyundai and Kia's combined 2,881.

    Until 2015 the import market was dominated by Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Volkswagen and Audi, but emissions-rigging scandals since late 2015 caused Volkswagen and Audi sales to plummet.

    Tesla began expanding its customer base here with the lower-priced Model 3 in November of 2019. It was first launched in the U.S. in 2016, but production glitches delayed the rollout here until last year.

    Over the period the price tag rose from some W20 million to W53.7 million, but that falls again to less than W40 million including various government subsidies for eco-friendly cars (US$1=W1,221).

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