Imported car sales in S. Korea jump 14 pct in July

August 6, 2015
Audi TT sports coupe. (Photo courtesy of Audi Korea/Yonhap)

Audi TT sports coupe. (Photo courtesy of Audi Korea/Yonhap)

SEOUL, Aug. 6 (Yonhap) — Sales of imported cars in South Korea jumped 14.3 percent in July from a year earlier, driven by strong demand for German vehicles, industry data showed Thursday.

According to the data by the Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association, 20,707 foreign vehicles were newly registered in the country last month, compared with the previous year’s 18,112 units.

The July registration figure, however, was down 14.7 percent from a month earlier.

The latest figure raised the cumulative sales of imported cars during the January-July period to 140,539 units, a 25.1 percent rise from the same period in 2014.

Over 80 percent of foreign cars sold last month in South Korea were European brands, with Japanese and American brands taking up 12.2 percent and 7.4 percent, respectively.

In particular, German carmakers dominated the market, with their car sales representing 66.9 percent of the total.

Mercedes-Benz topped the pack by selling 3,976 units, followed by its German rival BMW with 3,926 units. Volkswagen and Audi came next by selling 2,998 units and 2,617 units, respectively.

The best-selling model was Audi’s A6 35 TDI, with sales of 791 units, followed by Volkswagen’s Tiguan 2.0 TDI BlueMotion with 670 units, the data showed.

Vehicles with diesel engines remained the most popular, accounting for 69.2 percent of total registrations in July.

Gasoline vehicles came in second with a 26.5 percent share, while hybrid and electric cars trailed with 3.8 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively, the data showed.