Sales of imported passenger vehicles in South Korea jumped by 23.6% to 20,833 units in October from 16,833 units a year earlier, according to data compiled by the Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association (KAIDA).
As reported earlier, domestic sales by the five largest automakers combined rebounded by over 24% to 139,557 units in October from 112,332 units in October 2017.
The import market bounced back strongly from depressed year earlier volumes when deliveries were held back by the annual Chuseok holidays. Most businesses in the country, including vehicle importers and distributors, shut down for an entire week. This year, these holidays fell in September instead of October as in 2017.
In the first 10 months of the year, sales of imported passenger vehicles were 14.4% higher at 217,868 units compared with 190,394 units in the same period of last year, reflecting a strong rebound in Volkswagen and Audi sales after the two brands were virtually forced out of the market in the wake of the 2016 emissions cover up scandal.
The two brands sold 12,294 units and 11,261 units respectively YTD, up from a combined 919 units a year earlier.
Mercedes-Benz sales jumped by over 40% to 6,371 units last month and were up by 2.6% year to date at 58,606 units.
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BMW vehicle sales plunged 52% to 2,131 units in October after it recalled around 106,000 diesel models sold in the country earlier in the year due to a series of engine fires. The brand sold 45,093 units YTD, down 2% on the same period last year.