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German carmakers take up 60 percent of imported car sales

Mercedes-Benz GLB 250 4MATIC (Mercedes-Benz Korea)
Mercedes-Benz GLB 250 4MATIC (Mercedes-Benz Korea)
Imported commercial car sales in South Korea surpassed 200,000 units again this year despite an automotive semiconductor shortage, an industry association said Thursday.

According to the Korea Automobile Importers & Distributors Association, imported commercial car sales for the January to November period this year increased 3.6 percent from the same period last year, selling a total of 252,242 units.

The top selling brands were Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Audi being responsible for more than 60 percent of imported car sales.

Sales of imported commercial vehicles in South Korea first surpassed 200,000 in 2015, and recorded the highest sales last year with 274,859 units sold.

Mercedes-Benz Korea, in fact, is expected to maintain sales at more than 70,000 units this year for the fourth year in-a-row.

BMW Korea had record-breaking sales, with 61,436 units being sold from January to November this year, their highest sales ever.

Audi Korea sold 21,242 during the same period.

Meanwhile, domestic carmakers Renault Samsung, GM Korea and SsangYong Motors saw sales drop.

From January to November this year, 5 Korean carmakers sold more than 1.3 million vehicles, among which only 11.98 percent belonged to sales of Renault Samsung, GM Korea and SsangYong Motors.

Renault Samsung sold 53,934 units this year, a 38.7 percent drop on-year.

GM Korea sold 51,773 units, a 29.7 percent drop from last year.

SsangYong Motors’ sales also dropped 36.4 percent on-year, selling only 50,553 units this year.

They could not boost their sales due to business management difficulties, labor and management conflicts, and lack of new car models.

But they‘re seeking a resurgence with new model launches next year.

GM Korea is expected to resume selling the Bolt EV and Bolt EUV, models that were delayed in distribution due to a recall over battery fire risks.

Renault Samsung plans to launch its XM3 Hybrid model, in line with a global sales increase of eco-friendly cars.

SsangYong Motors will introduce its first electric model, the Korando e-Motion, within the coming year.

By Hong Yoo (yoohong@heraldcorp.com)
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