Sales of imported light passenger vehicles in South Korea continued to fall sharply in February, by over 20% to 15,885 units from 19,928 units in the a year earlier, according to data compiled by Korea Automobile Importers & Distributors Association (KAIDA).

Sales in the first two months of the year were almost 17% lower at 34,083 units from 41,003 units in the same period of last year, just as Hyundai put in a strong performance following the launch of new SUV models including the Palisade and Santa Fe, as well as the revised Sonata mid-size sedan.

The leading importer, Mercedes-Benz, saw its sales fall by 31% to 9,407 units in the two-month period from 13,701 units a year earlier, while BMW-Mini sales plunged by over 50% to 6,269 units from 12,615 units previously – with the German brand affected by a major recall last year following a series of engine fires.

Toyota-Lexus sales increased by 7.2% to 4,738 units year-to-date from 4,419 units previously, helped by strong demand for hybrid vehicles in the country, while VW-Audi's recent return to the market following the diesel emissions cover-up scandal saw its sales rise more than ten-fold to 2,883 units.

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By GlobalData