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Imported car sales fall 9.8 pct in April amid chip shortages

Imported commercial vehicles (Yonhap)
Imported commercial vehicles (Yonhap)

Sales of imported vehicles in South Korea fell 9.8 percent last month from a year earlier as chip shortages continued to affect vehicle production, an industry association said Wednesday.

The number of newly registered foreign vehicles fell to 23,070 units last month from 25,578 units a year ago, the Korea Automobile Importers & Distributors Association (KAIDA) said in a statement.

The three bestselling models last month were Mercedes-Benz's E 350 4MATIC sedan, BMW's 520 sedan and Mercedes-Benz's C 300 sedan, it said.

In April, three German brands -- Volkswagen Group Korea, BMW Group Korea and Mercedes-Benz Korea -- sold a combined 17,296 units, down 3.5 percent from 17,921 the previous year.

German cars accounted for 75 percent of imported vehicles sold in Asia's fourth-biggest economy last month, KAIDA said.

Three Japanese brands -- Honda Motor Co., Toyota Motor Corp. and its independent brand, Lexus -- sold a total of 1,321 units, down 17 percent from 1,584 a year earlier.

Imported brands accounted for 20.46 percent of the Korean passenger vehicle market in March, up from 19.11 percent a year ago. Their market share for April will be available next month, KAIDA said.

From January to April, imported car registrations declined 13 percent to 84,802 autos from 97,486 units during the same period of last year, it said. (Yonhap)



By Kim Young-won (wone0102@heraldcorp.com)
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