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May 12, 2020

South Korean import sales jump 26% in April

Sales of imported light passenger vehicles in South Korea jumped by almost 26% to 22,945 in April 2020 from 18,219 units in the same month of last year, according to member data released by the Korea Automobile Importers & Distributors Association (KAIDA).

By bcusack

Sales of imported light passenger vehicles in South Korea jumped by almost 26% to 22,945 in April 2020 from 18,219 units in the same month of last year, according to member data released by the Korea Automobile Importers & Distributors Association (KAIDA).

The import sector continued to strongly outperform domestic manufacturers, which saw their combined sales rise by just 6.5% to 145,141 units last month.

Import sales in the first four months of 2020 were up by 10.3% at 77,614 units from 70,380 units a year earlier, with German brands selling a combined 50,367 units or almost 65% of the total.

KAIDA spokeswoman Park Eun-seok said in a statement "new models released by Audi and Volkswagen and increased supplies and marketing activities by Mercedes-Benz helped drive up sales of imports in April". 

Mercedes-Benz remained the leading import brand in the four month period, with sales rising by 8.6% to 22,145 units, followed by BMW with an almost 59% sales rise to 16,454 units as the company continued to recover from a damaging recall campaign in 2018.

Volkswagen also made strong progress in rebuilding its market presence, with sales rising more than tenfold to 4,880 units, while Audi  sales were more than 75% higher at 4,492 units with the brand rebounding strongly from a 46% decline in the first two months of the year.

Porsche's four month sales were up by 12.1% at 2,396 units. 

Japanese brands continued to suffer from a broad based consumer boycott after a diplomatic spat broke out between the two countries last year.

Combined Japanese sales fell by almost 63% to 5,636 units in the first four months of the year.

Lexus was the best selling Japanese brand with 1,856 deliveries in this period, down by over 67% year on year.

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