Sales of imported vehicles in South Korea rose by 12.4% to 20,051 units in April, from 17,845 units a year earlier, according to data released by the Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association (KAIDA).

Sales in the first four months of the year rose by 1.6% at 75,017 units from 73,844 units in the same period of last year. The sector looks to be recovering from last year's 7.6% volume decline, to 225,279 units, which came about as the South Korean government banned the sale of around 80 Volkswagen and Audi models following a widely-reported emissions cover up scandal.

Last month, imports accounted for 15.3% of total vehicle sales in the country. Sales of European vehicles rose by 10%, driven by strong sales of BMW and Mercedes-Benz models at the expense of Volkswagen and Audi. 

The association also mentioned sales of Japanese vehicles rose by 15% last month, led by Lexus.