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Boycott cuts Japanese car imports to S. Korea by half


Japanese car imports to South Korea halved in the fourth quarter last year as the boycott of Japanese products in the country continued, latest data showed Thursday.

The value of imported Japanese cars in South Korea amounted to $203 million in the period, a 51.9 percent drop from $422 million a year earlier, according to data from the Korea Customs Service.

The market share of Japanese cars -- which commanded 15.2 percent of total imported cars -- plummeted to 6.2 percent in the same period.

It has been on a constant decline, falling to 15 percent and 9.6 in the second quarter and third quarter, respectively.

Major Japanese automakers suffered a sales slump in 2019, except for Honda, which saw a rise of 10.1 percent on-year from 7,956 to 8,760 units, data from the Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association showed.

Toyota, Nissan, Lexus and Infiniti each saw a fall in sales by 36.7 percent, 39.7 percent, 8.2 percent and 6.1 percent, respectively. Sales for Toyota models dipped from 16,774 to 10,611 units, Nissan from 5,053 to 3,049 units, Lexus from 13,340 to 12,241 units and Infiniti from 2,130 to 2,000 units on year.

In total, five major Japanese brands witnessed 18.9 percent fall in sales, from 45,253 to 36,661 units.

By Kim Byung-wook (