SEOUL, Aug. 1 (Korea Bizwire) — Gasoline-powered vehicles regained a 50 percent market share for new cars in the January-June period amid weaker demand for diesel vehicles, industry data showed Tuesday.
Gasoline cars accounted for 50.2 percent of South Korea’s total new car registrations in the first half, data by the Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association (KAMA) showed.
This marks the first time in four years that gasoline vehicle sales surpassed the 50 percent mark. In 2013, gasoline cars accounted for 52.7 percent of all new cars sold, KAMA said.
In contrast, the demand for diesel vehicles has been on the decline in the wake of Volkswagen’s diesel emissions cheating scandal that erupted in 2015. Moreover, the Seoul government’s move to reduce diesel cars on the street is also driving down diesel car sales here.
Diesel car registrations continued to rise to 44.7 percent in 2015 from 32.4 percent in 2013 but fell to 36.3 percent in the first half this year, KAMA data showed.
The decline is attributed to customers increasingly opting for alternatives to fuel-efficient but fine-dust emitting diesel cars, with more looking at environment-friendly hybrid and electric cars. The registration of so-called green cars has been increasing in recent years.
Hybrid car registrations climbed to 4.4 percent in the first half from 2.3 percent for the whole of 2013, with electric car registrations jumping to 0.6 percent from zero percent during the same period, the latest data showed.