SEOUL, Jan. 6 (Korea Bizwire) — The number of sport utility vehicles (SUVs) sold in South Korea in 2018 shot up 12.7 percent on-year — growing faster than any other type of automobile — to hit a record-high level, data showed Sunday.
According to the data based on figures from five South Korean car manufacturers, the number of SUVs sold in the country came to 519,883 in 2018, rising sharply from the 461,385 posted a year earlier. The five players sold 1.29 million units in the country in 2018, up 0.1 percent on-year.
The demand for SUVs has been increasing over recent years. The five automakers sold 133,000 SUVs here in 2000, with the figure gradually increasing to surpass the 500,000 mark for the first time in 2018.
By company, No. 1 player Hyundai Motor Co. sold 204,693 units, followed by its sister firm Kia Motors Corp. with 153,932 units. SsangYong Motor Co. and Renault Samsung Motors Corp. posted sales of 106,202 and 39,366 units, respectively.
GM Korea Co., the South Korean unit of General Motors Co., followed with 15,690 units.
By model, Hyundai’s all-new Santa Fe released in March accounted for 20.6 percent of the sales, at 107,202 units. Kia’s Sorento followed with 67,200 units and Hyundai’s Kona sold 50,468 units.
Industry watchers said sales of SUVs in the country are expected to increase on-year in 2019 as well, considering that preorders for Hyundai’s large Palisade SUV reached 1,908 units in around 20 days.