Highest ever sales of imported cars in March

Monthly sales of imported cars in the South Korean market exceeded 20,000 for the first time ever this past March. The Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association (KAIDA) announced on Apr. 6 that 22,280 imported cars were newly registered last month, up from 15,733 in Mar. 2014, a 41.6% increase year on year. Imported vehicles held a 17.6% share of South Korea’s domestic car market last month, which was 3.9 percentage points higher than the same month last year (13.7%). This is believed to be the result of less resistance to imported cars among domestic consumers along with aggressive marketing by car importers.
This year, the best-selling import has been the Tiguan Bluemotion 2.0 TDI, a small SUV by Volkswagen. As of the end of March, 2,067 units had been sold in South Korea, with 1,046 new models registered in March alone. During the month of March, Volkswagen Korea offered an interest-free installment plan for the model along with test drives around the country.

The Audi A6 3.0 TDI has also done well, with 2,253 units sold through last month. While the price of the model had once been in the mid-60 million won (US$55,260) range, it is now being sold for just over 50 million won.

“Since we’re planning to release a new car this year, we‘re going to offer big discounts on our current models. There are 10 people on the waiting list for each of our models,” a spokesperson for Audi Korea said.

In March of last year, the 10 models that sold the most added up to 4,642 new vehicle registrations; in March of this year, the figure jumped to 6,332.

“Sales went up in the imported car market last month because dealerships were open for more days than in February and because of aggressive marketing and greater volume at some brands,” said Yoon Dae-sung, executive managing director of KAIDA.

When the imported cars registered last month are categorized by country of origin, 15,147 (80.6%) were made by German companies like Volkswagen, BMW, and Audi, accounting for 68% of the total market. Japan and the US trailed far behind at 12.3% and 7.2%, respectively.

In terms of engine displacement, cars below 2,000cc were the hottest sellers, with 12,307 units sold (55.2%), followed by 2,000-2,999cc displacement with 8,109 sales (36.4%), 3,000-3,999cc displacement with 1,099 sales (5.4%), and 4,000cc and above with 657 sales (2.9%).

Source: http://www.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/e_business/685812.html

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