Import automotive gross sales hit document excessive in 2022

Mercedes-Benz's E-Class sedan was the best-selling import car of 2022, with a total of 28,318 unit sales. (Mercedes-Benz Korea)

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

Imported automotive gross sales hit a record-high of practically 300,000 right here final 12 months, pushed by pent-up demand for luxurious vehicles through the coronavirus pandemic, business sources mentioned Friday.

Imported automotive manufacturers’ gross sales in 2022 elevated by 2.6 p.c on-year to 283,435 models, in line with knowledge from the Korea Car 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 enhance from 10 years in the past.

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

The bestselling model was Mercedes-Benz, which bought 80,976 automobiles, a 6.3 p.c enhance from a 12 months earlier. It maintained its No. 1 spot for the seventh consecutive 12 months.

BMW got here in second, seeing a surge in gross sales by 19.6 p.c to 78,545 models bought. The hole with its archrival Mercedes-Benz shrunk from 10,483 in 2021 to 2,431 final 12 months. Audi and Volkswagen bought 21,402 and 15,791 automobiles, respectively, throughout the identical interval.

Specialists say imported automotive 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 consumers to attend a very long time. The worth hole between international luxurious vehicles and native premium automotive manufacturers has narrowed as nicely, taking away the benefits of native manufacturers – shorter ready intervals and value effectiveness,” mentioned Kim Pil-su, an automotive engineering professor at Daelim College.

However Kim mentioned international automotive manufacturers may not see a steep enhance in gross sales this 12 months. “Not solely is pent-up demand fading away, however rising rates of interest will make loans to purchase a automotive 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 automotive manufacturers posted stellar gross sales figures, native manufacturers together with Hyundai Motor, Kia, GM Korea, Renault Korea and KG Mobility — beforehand often called SsangYong Motors — noticed slight decreases in gross sales final 12 months. Their cumulative gross sales quantity dropped by 3.2 p.c to 1.39 million models, recording an all-time low since 2013.

By Byun Hye-jin (

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