South Korea’s imports grow faster than local sales in 2022

Imported light passenger vehicles continued to gain ground in South Korea last month, with sales rising 5% to 29,640 units from 28,222 units a year earlier, according to registration data released by the Korea Automobile Importers & Distributors Association (KAIDA).

Improved semiconductor shipments and new models have enabled global vehicle manufacturers to fill back orders and recoup market share losses from earlier in the year.

For the full year, deliveries increased nearly 3% to 283,435 units versus 276,146 units in 2021 Local sales by domestic manufacturers fell by 3% to 1,392,179 units.

German-owned brands accounted for around 77% of imported light vehicle sales in 2022, or 218,304 units, led by Mercedes Benz up 6% to 80,976 units, helped by a strong recovery in the fourth quarter. The company launched the new C-Class range early last year, followed by the EBQ and EQE electric vehicles.

bmw It came second despite a nearly 20% increase in sales to 78,545 units, with demand boosted by the launch of the iX1 and iX3 battery-powered SUVs in late 2021 and the i4, new 7 Series and 8 Series X7 models last year. Mini Full year sales were only slightly higher at 11,213 units.

Volkswagen reported a 10% increase in sales to 15,791 units last year Audi Sales fell 16% to 21,402 units and Porsche Deliveries increased by 6% to 8,963 units.

Local distributor Volkswagen Group Korea ramped up its new model launches last year with a range of new and upgraded models, including the Audi Q4 e-tron and VW ID.4 in September.

Volvo Sales fell 44% last year to 14,431 units, even though the C40 Recharge was the first of seven battery-powered models to be launched by 2030.

Toyota Sales, meanwhile, fell 3% to 6,259 units Lexus reported a 22% drop to 7,592 units, with deliveries severely disrupted by supply chain bottlenecks. Lexus plans to launch the RZ 450e battery-powered SUV this year as part of its plans to go fully electric by 2035.


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