SEOUL, March 4 (Korea Bizwire) — Sales of imported vehicles in South Korea jumped 33 percent in February from a year earlier on robust sales of German cars, an industry association said Thursday.
The number of newly registered foreign vehicles climbed to 22,290 units last month from 16,725 a year ago despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the Korea Automobile Importers & Distributors Association (KAIDA) said in a statement.
The three bestselling models last month were the Mercedes-Benz E 250 sedan, Volkswagen Jetta 1.4 TSI sedan, and Mercedes-Benz GLE 400d 4MATIC Coupe, the statement said.
In February, German brands — Audi-Volkswagen Korea, BMW Group Korea and Mercedes-Benz Korea — sold 16,424 units, up 59 percent from 10,320 the previous year, it said. German cars accounted for seven out of 10 imported vehicles sold in Asia’s fourth-biggest economy last month.
Japanese carmakers — Honda Motor Co., Toyota Motor Corp. and its independent brand Lexus — continued to struggle with weak sales amid trade disputes. Their sales fell 21 percent to 1,311 units last month from 1,651 a year earlier.
Imported brands accounted for 18.65 percent of the Korean passenger vehicle market in January, up from 17.68 percent a year ago. Their market share for February will be available next month, KAIDA said.