Sales of imported light passenger vehicles in South Korea rebounded by 18% to 26,756 units in June 2023 from 22,695 units a year earlier, according to data released by the Korea Automobile Importers & Distributors Association (KAIDA).

The data did not include some non-affiliated brands, including Tesla.

German brands Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Porsche led last month’s rebound after several months of decline with Toyota, Lexus and Polestar also reporting strong growth.

Sales by domestic vehicle manufacturers increased by 11% to 134,426 units last month, with year to date sales rising by 14% to 761,626 units.

In the first half of the year, import sales were slightly lower at 130,689 units from 131,009 in the same period of 2022, with German owned brands accounting for around 75% of the total or 97,800 units.

BMW continued to lead this segment with six month sales rising by 1.5% to 38,106 units, while Mini sales plunged by 23% to 4,430 units. Rolls Royce, which sold 154 cars year to date, launched its battery powered Spectre model earlier this month.

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By GlobalData

Mercedes-Benz enjoyed a strong rebound last month although its first half sales were still down by 10% at 35,423 units despite the recent launch of the EQB SUV and the EQE and EQS battery powered sedans. Volkswagen sales plunged 50% to 3,240 units while Audi sales increased 14% to 9,636 units and Porsche sales were up by 33% at 6,226 units.

Lexus sales more than doubled to 6,950 units year to date while Toyota sales rose 39% to 3,978 units helped by the launch of the RAV4 plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV) in March. The Japanese automaker began selling the Crown hybrid crossover utility vehicle last month as part of plans to launch eight new models under the Toyota and Lexus badges in 2023.

Volvo sales increased 21% to 8,463 year to date, helped by the recent launch of the C40 Recharge, the first of seven battery-powered models it plans to launch by 2030.

In April the company said it was scheduled to launch the EX9 electric SUV this year and announced also planned to invest US$85m to strengthen its sales and aftersales network in the country.