Sales of imported light passenger vehicles in South Korea continued to fall sharply in April, by almost 30% to 18,219 units from 25,923 units a year earlier, according to member data released by the Korea Automobile Importers & Distributors Association (KAIDA).

Imported brands struggled to keep up with a resurgent Hyundai Motor which continued to gain ground following the recent release of new models including the Palisade and Santa Fe SUVs and the redesigned Sonata passenger car.

The association pointed to a lack of available stock as a key factor for the huge underperformance on the part of the importers in the South Korean vehicle market.

German brands saw their share of total imports decline to 56% last month from 66% a year earlier, as Japanese brands continued to outperform.

Sales of imported light vehicles were close to 25% lower at 70,380 units in the first four months of the year compared with 93,328 units in the same period of last year.

See also: South Korean sales up slightly in April