Sales of imported vehicles in South Korea continued to decline in November, by 15.8% to 19,361 units from 22,991 units a year earlier, according to data released by the Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association.

Cumulative 11-month sales were down by 6.5% at 205,162 units, compared with 219,534 units in the same period of last year. 

The segment's weak performance reflects the withdrawal of homologation certificates of around 80 Volkswagen and Audi models earlier this year by the South Korean government in relation to the emissions/fuel efficiency cover-up scandal.

Volkswagen didn't sell any cars last month, mainly because it ran out of stock in October of the two cars it is still allowed to sell in the country, the Tuareg two-litre TSi and three-litre TDI models. Audi's sales were down by close to 88% to at 463 units.

Local distributor Audi Volkswagen Korea earlier this week was ordered by the Fair Trade Commission to pay a record KRW37.3bn (US$32m) fine for false advertising over a period of years.

Daimler's Mercedes-Benz continued to enjoy strong growth in the country, however. It sales jumped by over 66% to 5,724 units in November and by 20% to 50,718 units in the first 11 months of the year. This is the first time an import brand has sold more than 50,000 units in a single year in South Korea.

BMW's sales trailed close by in second place, with cumulative 11-month sales amounting to 42,625 units.

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