Import automobile gross sales hit report excessive in 2022

Mercedes-Benz’s E-Class sedan was the best-selling import automobile of 2022, with a complete of 28,318 unit gross sales. (Mercedes-Benz Korea)

Imported automobile gross sales hit a record-high of almost 300,000 right here final yr, pushed by pent-up demand for luxurious vehicles through the coronavirus pandemic, business sources mentioned Friday.

Imported automobile manufacturers’ gross sales in 2022 elevated by 2.6 % on-year to 283,435 models, based on knowledge from the Korea Vehicle Importers and Distributors Affiliation. When together with the gross sales quantity of 14,571 automobiles for Tesla, which was not counted by the affiliation, the determine involves 298,006 models, a twofold improve from 10 years in the past.

Seven out of 10 imported vehicles offered right here had been from three German manufacturers — Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Volkswagen.

The bestselling model was Mercedes-Benz, which offered 80,976 automobiles, a 6.3 % improve from a yr earlier. It maintained its No. 1 spot for the seventh consecutive yr.

BMW got here in second, seeing a surge in gross sales by 19.6 % to 78,545 models offered. The hole with its archrival Mercedes-Benz shrunk from 10,483 in 2021 to 2,431 final yr. Audi and Volkswagen offered 21,402 and 15,791 automobiles, respectively, throughout the identical interval.

Specialists say imported automobile manufacturers noticed large gross sales positive factors, snapping again from pent-up client demand through the pandemic period.

“Additionally, two years of chip shortages and snarled provide chains battered native carmakers and compelled patrons to attend a very long time. The worth hole between international luxurious vehicles and native premium automobile manufacturers has narrowed as effectively, taking away the benefits of native manufacturers – shorter ready durations and value effectiveness,” mentioned Kim Pil-su, an automotive engineering professor at Daelim College.

However Kim mentioned international automobile manufacturers may not see a steep improve in gross sales this yr. “Not solely is pent-up demand fading away, however rising rates of interest will make loans to purchase a automobile dearer. Solely the handful of main German luxurious carmakers are prone to get pleasure from gross sales development, even throughout an financial slowdown.”

Whereas imported automobile manufacturers posted stellar gross sales figures, native manufacturers together with Hyundai Motor, Kia, GM Korea, Renault Korea and KG Mobility — beforehand referred to as SsangYong Motors — noticed slight decreases in gross sales final yr. Their cumulative gross sales quantity dropped by 3.2 % to 1.39 million models, recording an all-time low since 2013.

By Byun Hye-jin (

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