SEOUL, Jan. 23 (Korea Bizwire) – According to the latest data from the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) and the Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association, Korean automakers sold 171,147 units in Germany last year, up 2.8 percent compared to 2015 (166,563).
Although Hyundai Motor Company saw its sales drop by 1.1 percent to 107,000 units, Kia saw an increase by 8.7 percent to 61,000, and Ssangyong Motor by 39.2 percent to 3,397.
Despite the total market share for Korean automakers falling by 0.1 percent to 5.1 in 2016, mainly due to the 4.5-percent growth in total vehicle demand in Germany, it was a year in which more Korean vehicles were sold in Germany than German cars in Korea, after the sales figure reversed for the first time in history in 2015 with 166,563 and 167,043, respectively.
The five German car brands – Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, and Volkswagen – sold 137,885 units in South Korea last year, which was a 17.5 percent decline, largely affected by the Volkswagen emissions scandal that had some 80 Audi and Volkswagen models banned by the Ministry of Environment in August.
The controversy was a boon for Mercedes-Benz and BMW, which saw on-year sales increase by 19.9 percent (to 56,343 vehicles) and 1.2 percent (48,459), respectively, although the market share for German automakers in the imported auto market in Korea dropped from 69.5 percent to 61.2 percent.
“The prolonged Volkswagen crisis led to a smaller market dominance for German automakers,” said an industry watcher. “It is a stark contrast compared to Korean companies in Germany, which is one of the toughest markets for foreign vehicles, that are making progress in the European country.”
The number of Korean cars sold in Germany has increased steadily over the years, from 156,304 in 2012 to 157,898 in 2013 and 166,563 in 2015, while German cars made faster progress in Korea, from 83,578 in 2012 to 167,043 in 2015.
By Kevin Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)