German luxury cars dominate S.Korean imported vehicle market

Angelica Greene
June 9, 2017

Last month, a total of 5,373 units of BMW vehicles were registered here, while Mercedes-Benz Korea, the local importer and distributor of the German automaker, came in second place with 5,063 units, according to data compiled by the Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association.

Mercedes-Benz delivered 3,686 vehicles in the month, a total 9.3% above the sales achieved in the same month a year ago.

The two German carmakers have been expanding their presence rapidly in Korea, taking up a combined 59 percent of the imported market.

In cumulative sales in the first five months of the year, Mercedes-Benz is still ahead of BMW with sales of 29,940 and 23,488 cars, respectively. It was followed by US automaker Ford with 1,023 units.

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During the January-May period, Mercedes Benz sold 29,940 vehicles, bigger than BMW's sales of 23,488 units in the same period. Honda came in at third in monthly auto sales in May, selling 1,169 units.

Some 19,380 imported cars were sold in Korea in May, down 0.5 percent from past year, and down 3.3 percent from the previous month.

The accumulated number of imported vehicles sold this year so far was 94.397 units, a 1.2 percent on-year increase. By model, Lexus' ES300h was the best-selling auto in May, having sold 541, followed by BMW's hatchback model 118d Urban (539 units) and Mercedes-Benz's E 220d (529 units). Compared with the previous month, the figure fell 3.3 percent. The rest were 7,625 units of gasoline-powered cars (39.3 percent) and 1,798 units of hybrid cars (9.3 percent).

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