SEOUL, Dec. 8 (Korea Bizwire) – Imported car sales in South Korea are expected to suffer an on-year fall this year for the first time in seven years, apparently affected by weaker demand for diesel cars and sales bans of popular models, industry sources said Thursday.
A total of 205,162 imported vehicles have been sold in the country through November, down 6.5 percent from a year earlier, according to the data compiled by the Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association (KAIDA).
If the sales trend continues, minus growth is likely for the full year, they said.
Sales of imported cars in South Korea slumped 15.8 percent last month to 19,361 units due to a supply shortage. Since peaking at a record monthly sale of 24,366 in December 2015, foreign auto sales have been on a decline due to the expiry of a special tax incentive and the recent ban on sales of Audi and Volkswagen car models here after an emissions scandal.
The country’s imported auto market has been hit hard by Volkswagen’s emission fabrication scandal, with demand for such vehicles slowing down given that it had spiked in recent years.
Diesel vehicles have been relatively popular among Korean customers, as they take up about 70 percent of sales.
Audi and Volkswagen saw their respective sales in the country drop 44 percent and 60 percent on-year, to 16,482 and 13,178 units, in the first 11 months of the year, while the other foreign brands saw their combined sales shoot up 12 percent to 175,502 units over the cited period, the sources said.