Sales of imported vehicles in South Korea increased by 14.3% to 20,707 units in July, compared with 18,112 units in the same month of last year, according to the Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association.

Cumulative seven month import sales increased by 25.1% to 140,539 units, accounting for more than 14% of this traditionally protected market. The strong Korean won has encouraged buyers to diversify away from the dominant domestic brands into more exclusive foreign brands

European brands accounted for over 80% of foreign vehicles sold in the country last month with the Japanese accounting for over 12% and the US more than 7%. 

German brands accounted for 67% of imports, led by Mercedes-Benz with 3,976 units, BMW's 3,926, Volkswagen's 2,998 and Audi's 2,617.

Diesel vehicles accounted for over 69% of total import sales while hybrid sales reached 3.8%.