Imported car sales in Korea sink 18.5% in Jan.

Imported car sales in Korea sink 18.5% in Jan.

Sales of imported cars in Korea dropped more than 18 percent in January from a year earlier due to seasonal factors and the end of tax incentives, industry data showed Thursday.

According to the data compiled by the Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association, a total of 16,234 foreign vehicles were newly registered here last month, down 18.5 percent from a year earlier.

The January figure also marks a 33.4 percent drop from the previous month, when monthly sales hit a record high of 24,366 units, the data showed.

European cars continued to dominate the local market, with 79.4 percent of imports coming from the area. Japanese and American brands followed with 11.8 percent and 8.8 percent, respectively.

Mercedes-Benz topped the pack by selling 4,398 units last month, followed by BMW with 2,410, Audi with 1,900, and Volkswagen with 1,660, the data showed.

Despite the worldwide diesel gate over cheating on emissions results, the best-selling car was Volkswagen’s Tiguan 2.0 TDI BlueMotion, with sales of 631 units.

Last year, foreign auto sales here jumped 24.2 percent driven by a marked growth in demand for European car brands.

A total of 243,900 foreign vehicles were sold in the country in 2015, compared with the previous year’s 196,359 units.

“January sales fell sharply due to the end of consumption tax incentives in December and some brands suffering a supply shortage,” an official at the association said. (Yonhap)


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