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Auto imports halve in July on end of tax favors, VW woes

All Headlines 09:40 August 28, 2016

SEOUL, Aug. 28 (Yonhap) -- Imports of foreign cars in South Korea more than halved in July due to a large cut in sales of Volkswagen and Audi cars mired in the fake emissions scandal and the end of tax favors on car purchases, industry data showed Sunday.

According to data from the Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association (KAMA), a total of 17,897 foreign vehicles were imported into the country last month, down 51 percent from the previous month.

By country, a total of 6,423 German cars were imported in July, sharply down 58 percent from a month earlier, with the corresponding figure for U.S. cars being 2,357 units, also down 52.2 percent over the cited period, the data showed.

Industry watchers said such a sharp decline was partly attributed to the termination of a temporary tax cut on new car purchases.

The June 30 termination of the tax incentive has also led to a cut in sales of locally produced cars.

In July, domestic sales of locally produced vehicles plunged 10.6 percent on-year to 121,144, automakers here said earlier. The figure is a turnaround from the 10.9 percent on-year spike in the January-June period.

However, the cut in imported cars here last month was also attributed to a plunge in sales of Audi and Volkswagen cars, whose local importer and distributor is accused of forging documents to obtain government certification for their sales here, the watchers said.

Last month, the environment ministry revoked sales certification of 80 vehicle models sold by Audi Volkswagen Korea.


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