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Audi Volkswagen Korea waiting to resume sales

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Published : 2017-05-18 17:01
Updated : 2017-05-18 17:01

Audi Volkswagen Korea, a local importer and distributor of German auto brands, is still waiting for government authorization of its Audi and Volkswagen models, but it has resumed sales of its luxury Bentley cars, the company said Thursday.

Audi Korea’s request for government approval this month has led the auto industry to expect it to resume sales here in the third quarter of this year, as it took about 1 1/2 months for the Ministry of Environment to approve of Bentley, according to local reports.

Authorization for Audi’s high performance S3 sedan was submitted earlier this month, followed by the RS7 4.0 TFSI quattro, the RS7 Plus and the A8L 60 TFSI quattro, the company said.

“It is difficult for us to give an exact timeline,” said a spokesperson of Audi Volkswagen Korea.

Audi Korea and Volkswagen Korea both showed zero newly registered automobiles in April due to a lack of inventory, according to data from Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association.

Last August, the ministry banned sales and canceled the authentication of 83,000 units across 80 Audi and Volkswagen models, and fined the local unit 17.8 billion won ($16 million) for cheating on fuel efficiency, emissions and noise test results.

Volkswagen Korea continues to wait for the ministry to ratify the necessary recalls as it struggles to rebound from the emissions scandal. Since last November, it has been posting zero sales here, falling from having been one of the top-selling foreign auto brands, the KAIDA said.

“Volkswagen Korea is aiming to release three new models this year, including the all-new Tiguan SUV and Passat GT. Legal issues have to be resolved before rolling out new models,” an industry insider said.

The Tiguan SUV was crowned the best-selling imported car here in 2015, before the scandal broke out. 
Volkswagen Korea has appointed Johann Hegel (left) and Martin Bahr as directors of its technical compliance division. Audi Volkswagen Korea
To accelerate the realignment of its technical compliance system, Audi Volkswagen Korea has appointed Johann Hegel and Martin Bahr as directors of its technical compliance division.

The two directors worked in engine development and vehicle testing at Audi AG and Volkswagen AG, the company said.

“The appointment is expected to further boost discussion with the government departments and the headquarters,” the company said in a press release.

Meanwhile, Bentley’s large-size sedan Bentley Flying Spur V8 S, Continental GT V8 and Continental GT Convertible are back in showrooms after nine months. They were decertified for falsified noise test results last August.

Bentley’s first-ever premium SUV Bentayga received authorization last March and is currently offered to local customers. 

By Kim Bo-gyung (lisakim425@heraldcorp.com)