SEOUL, Jan. 5 (Korea Bizwire) – Sales of imported vehicles dropped significantly from a year earlier in 2015, largely due to a sales ban on Audi and Volkswagen cars following an emissions scandal, data showed Thursday.
In 2016, the number of newly registered foreign cars came to 225,279, down 7.6 percent from 243,900 the previous year, according to the data from the Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association (KAIDA).
“The imported car market shrank from a year earlier in 2016 due to the Volkswagen scandal that led to the revocation of sales certificates for certain vehicle models,” KAIDA official Yoon Dae-sung said in a press release.
Audi Volkswagen Korea, the local importer of the German vehicles, has been found to have fabricated emissions and efficiency test results of its vehicles while obtaining sales approval from the local government.
The country’s transportation ministry revoked its sales certificates for some 80 Audi and Volkswagen car models. The local importer of the German cars has yet to win back its sales certificates.
In December, no Volkswagen cars were sold. For the entire 2016, sales of Volkswagen cars plunged 63.2 percent on-year to 13,178, while those of Audi vehicles plunged 48.6 percent to 16,718.
Their combined market share was more than halved to 13.27 percent from 28.01 percent in 2015.
Mercedes-Benz apparently took most of the market share once enjoyed by Audi and Volkswagen cars, boosting its annual sales by 19.9 percent on-year to 56,343 cars last year.
The tally accounts for 25.01 percent of all imported vehicles sold in 2016, up from 19.27 percent the previous year.
BMW took the second spot on the best-selling car brand list here, selling 48,459 units in 2016, up 1.2 percent from a year earlier.
The sharp on-year drop in the number of imported vehicles sold here also marks a slight dip in the overall number of passenger vehicles sold here last year.
The country’s five automakers earlier said their combined annual sales inched up 0.6 percent on-year to 1,579,705.
The 225,279 imported cars newly registered here last year puts the total number of new passenger vehicles sold here at 1,813,851, down 0.5 percent from the previous year.