Imported car sales dip 8.7% in March amid chip shortages

Imported car sales dip 8.7% in March amid chip shortages

Mercedes-Benz S-Class (Mercedes-Benz Korea)

Sales of imported vehicles in South Korea fell 8.7 percent in March as chip shortages continued to affect vehicle production, an industry association said Tuesday.

The number of newly registered foreign vehicles fell to 24,912 units last month from 27,297 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 250 sedan and E 350 4MATIC sedan and BMW’s 520 sedan, it said.

In March, three German brands — Volkswagen Group Korea, BMW Group Korea and Mercedes-Benz Korea — sold a combined 18,763 units, down 1 percent from 18,954 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 carmakers — Honda Motor Co., Toyota Motor Corp. and its independent brand, Lexus — sold a total of 1,202 units in March, down 31 percent from 1,737 a year earlier.

Imported brands accounted for 18.73 percent of the Korean passenger vehicle market in February, down from 21.08 percent a year ago.

Their market share for March will be available next month, KAIDA said.

From January to March, imported car registrations declined 14 percent to 61,727 autos from 71,908 units during the same period of last year, it said. (Yonhap)

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