Sales of imported vehicles in South Korea jumped by 23% to 19,928 units in February from 16,122 units a year earlier, according to data released by the Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association (KAIDA).

German brands accounted for six of every 10 imported vehicles sold last month with the BMW 320d, Mercedes-Benz GLC 220d and the BMW 520d the three best selling models.

In the first two months of the year, import sales rose by almost 25% to 41,003 units from 32,886 a year earlier, to claim a 15.3% share of the South Korean vehicle market. 

Following diesel emissions issues with local regulatory authorities, Volkswagen and Audi have both returned to market in the last few months while other manufacturers have increased their sales targets. 

Jaguar-Land Rover now expects to sell 18,000 vehicles this year compared with 14,865 units in 2017 and is preparing to launch a new range of new electric vehicles as well as the new Range Rover and Range Rover Sport in the second quarter of the year. 

Lexus in December launched its new LS500 flagship sedan and is expanding its hybrid range in the country.

KAIDA expects sales of imported vehicles to rise by 9% to 256,000 units this year, compared with 233,088 last year, but this may prove to be a conservative forecast.