The number of foreign cars registered in February was down 23.6% from the previous month, the Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association (KAIDA) said on Friday.

According to the Korea Times, the association said 1,501 new foreign cars were registered in February, while January's figure was 1,965. Cumulative sales during the first two months of this year marked a 5.4% increase from a year earlier.

Lexus reportedly took the lead in sales last month, selling 296, thus breaking ahead of BMW, long-time frontrunner in Korea's foreign car market, which sold 273. Mercedes-Benz came next with 202, ahead of Audi (169) and Honda (165).

Lexus' ES330 was the most popular model, with 165 sold last month. Honda's CR-V followed as the next best performer with 104 while Lexus' LS 430 came in third with 69.

Seoul was the major region for sales, with 685 foreign cars bought, or 45.7% of the nation's total. Residents of Kyonggi Province bought 30.6% of the cars sold with 460.

"A drop in the number of business days was the main factor for last month's poor performance,'' Yoon Dae-sung, senior vice president of KAIDA, told the Korea Times.