Sales of imported light passenger vehicles in South Korea continued to rebound in October 2022, by 35% to 25,363 units from 18,764 in the same month of last year, according to the Korea Automobile Importers & Distributors Association (KAIDA).
Sales in the last few months were lifted by improving supplies of semiconductors which enabled manufacturers to fulfill order backlogs and claw back earlier losses.
But deliveries in the first 10 months of the year were still down 3% at 225,573 units from 233,432 units a year earlier while total sales by domestic manufacturers slipped 4% to 1,129,793 units in the same period.
German owned brands accounted for 77% of imported light vehicle sales year to date, or 173,800 units, led by BMW which reported a 13% rise to 64,504 units. Its sales this year have been lifted by the launch of the iX1 and iX3 BEV SUVs at the end of 2021 and the i4 and the new 8-Series in the first half of 2022, while the new X7 and redesigned 7-Series models were scheduled to go on sale before the end of the year. Mini YTD sales fell 6% to 8,413 units.
Mercedes-Benz slipped into second place with its sales falling 3% to 63,791 units, despite the launch of the new C-class early in the year followed by the EBQ and EQE BEV sedans.
Volkswagen sales were down 11% at 11,170 units YTD while Audi sales dropped 8% to 17,094 and Porsche deliveries fell 9% to 7,015 with volume held back by semiconductors weak EV model lines.
VW Group Korea earlier this year said it planned to launch 22 new and upgraded models in 2022 to help reverse its decline, including several Bentley and Lamborghini models.
The distributor began deliveries of the Audi Q4 e-tron and VW ID.4 battery-powered SUVs in September.
Volvo YTD sales fell 19% to 10,003 units despite launching the C40 Recharge BEV earlier in the year, the first of seven full EVs it planned to launch by 2030.
Toyota sales were flat at 5,352 units YTD while Lexus reported a 30% plunge to 5,703 with deliveries significantly disrupted by supply chain shortages. The upmarket brand introduced the UX300e BEV and NX450h hybrid SUVs in July and said it planned to launch the bev RZ 450e large SUV next year as part of its plans to go all electric by 2035.
Distributor Forza Motors Korea said it expected Ferrari sales to exceed last year’s 300 units in 2022 while Maserati sales were down 25% to 491 YTD.