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Imported car sales rise 24% in December despite chip shortage


Sales of imported vehicles in South Korea rose 24 percent last month from a year earlier despite the extended chip shortage, an industry association said Wednesday.

The number of newly registered foreign vehicles stood at 29,640 units last month, up from 23,904 units a year ago, the Korea Automobile Importers & Distributors Association said in a statement.

The three bestselling models last month were Mercedes-Benz's E 250 sedan and E 350 4MATIC sedan, and BMW's 520 sedan, the statement said.

In December, three German brands -- Volkswagen Group Korea, BMW Group Korea and Mercedes-Benz Korea -- sold a combined 22,587 units, up 37 percent from 16,542 the previous year.

German cars accounted for 76 percent of imported vehicles sold in Asia's fourth-biggest economy last month, KAIDA said.

Imported brands accounted for 20.85 percent of the Korean passenger vehicle market in November, up from 15.35 percent a year ago. Their market share for December has yet to be released, KAIDA said.

For the whole of 2022, imported car registrations rose 0.6 percent to 283,435 autos from 276,146 units during the same period of last year, it said. (Yonhap)