SEOUL, June 5 (Yonhap) -- Imported vehicle sales in South Korea fell 17 percent in May due mainly to a supply shortage, industry data showed Wednesday.
The number of newly registered foreign vehicles stood at 19,548 last month, sharply down from 23,470 a year ago, according to the data from the Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association (KAIDA).
"Lack of supply in some brands such as Mercedes-Benz affected the monthly sales result," KAIDA Vice Chairman Yoon Dae-sung said in the statement.
The three best-selling models were the Mercedes-Benz E 300 sedan, the Mercedes-Benz E 300 4MATIC sedan and the Lexus ES300h, the statement said.
But the proportion of German vehicles in the imported passenger vehicle market fell to 53 percent last month from 63 percent a year earlier due to the lingering impact of Volkswagen's "diesel gate" emission cheating scandal and dozens of engine fire incidents in BMW cars caused by faulty parts.
From January to May, imported car sales dropped 23 percent to 89,928 units from 116,798 in the same period last year, it said.
Imported cars accounted for 14.7 percent of all local passenger car sales in the first five months, down from 18.3 percent a year ago, the KAIDA data showed.
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