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Imported car sales up 23 pct in July amid pandemic

All News 10:56 August 04, 2021

SEOUL, Aug. 4 (Yonhap) -- Sales of imported vehicles in South Korea rose 23 percent in July from a year earlier despite the extended COVID-19 pandemic, an industry association said Wednesday.

The number of newly registered foreign vehicles climbed to 24,389 units last month from 19,778 a year ago on strong sales of German vehicles, 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 E220d 4MATIC sedan and Lexus ES300h sedan, it said.

In July, three German brands -- Audi-Volkswagen Korea, BMW Group Korea and Mercedes-Benz Korea -- sold a combined 17,377 units, up 30 percent from 13,413 the previous year. German cars accounted for seven out of 10 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 -- reported improved sales last month following years of weak sales due to a protracted trade dispute between Seoul and Tokyo.

Their sales rose 27 percent to 2,045 units in July from 1,614 a year earlier.

From January to July, makers of imported cars sold a total of 172,146 autos, up 16 percent from 148,014 units in the same period of last year.

Import brands accounted for 19.04 percent of the Korean passenger vehicle market in June, up from 15.04 percent a year ago. Their market share for July will be available next month, KAIDA said.

This undated file photo shows a Mercedes-Benz dealership in Seoul. (Yonhap)

kyongae.choi@yna.co.kr
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