SEOUL, Feb. 7 (Korea Bizwire) — Sales of imported vehicles in South Korea fell 22 percent in January from a year earlier as chip shortages continued to disrupt vehicle production, an industry association said Monday.
The number of newly registered foreign vehicles fell to 17,361 units last month from 22,321 units a year ago, the Korea Automobile Importers & Distributors Association (KAIDA) said in a statement.
“Sales declined last month as chip supply issues continued to weigh on vehicle production and there was lower demand during the winter season,” the statement said.
The bestselling models last month were Mercedes-Benz’s E 250 sedan, BMW’s 520 sedan, and Mercedes-Benz’s E 220d 4MATIC sedan, it said.
In January, three German brands — Audi-Volkswagen Korea, BMW Group Korea and Mercedes-Benz Korea — sold a combined 12,114 units, down 24 percent from 15,854 the previous year.
German cars accounted for seven out of 10 imported vehicles sold in Asia’s fourth-biggest economy last month, KAIDA said.
Three Japanese carmakers — Honda Motor Co., Toyota Motor Corp. and its independent brand, Lexus — sold a combined 1,112 units in January, up 7.4 percent from 1,035 a year earlier.
Imported brands accounted for 17.59 percent of the Korean passenger vehicle market in December, down from 21.6 percent a year ago. Their market share for January will be available next month, KAIDA said.