|BMW Korea unveils new 5 Series models, including the 528i xDrive (right) and the new Gran Turismo, during a|
launch at Banyan Tree Club & Spa Seoul on Wednesday. (Lee Sang-sub/The Korea Herald)
BMW Korea launched nine new models of the face-lifted 5 Series on Wednesday, pledging to extend its sales lead among import car brands here.
“We have already secured some 1,000 pre-orders even before the official launch. I feel confident in selling some 1,200 5 Series cars per month,” said Kim Hyo-joon, managing director of BMW Korea.
The latest, sixth-generation 5 Series has sold more than 1 million units globally since its launch in 2010, leading the luxury sedan segment where strong players such as Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Audi A6 are positioned.
In Korea, about 43,000 5 Series cars were sold as of August and especially the 520d diesel model is the best-selling car across segments within the nation’s import car market.
“In terms of sales, Korea is the fifth-largest market for the 5 Series after China, the United States, Germany and the United Kingdom,” the country chief said.
The signature kidney grille, front and rear bumpers and head- and rear-lights were given a fresh styling, with the new 5 Series getting a sportier and sleeker look overall.
As part of its localized efforts, the carmaker said it has revised the car’s navigation system to adopt a touch-pad controller, which is more favored by Korean drivers, while enhancing its diesel lineups.
Adding to the nine new models for the 5 Series sedan, four Gran Turismo versions were also launched on Wednesday. For the hatchback style, Korea is the second-largest market only behind China.
Pinning high hopes on the refreshed best-selling model, BMW Korea said its car sales this year could exceed the 40,000 mark for the first time as a foreign brand.
“Considering the strong sales of our Mini and Motorrad brands, our total sales would set a new milestone surpassing 40,000 units,” said Kim.
BMW, which has maintained its No.1 market position among import brands for years here, sold 23,172 vehicles as of August, up 20.4 percent from a year ago.
By Lee Ji-yoon (firstname.lastname@example.org