Imported automobile gross sales hit file excessive in 2022

The Mercedes-Benz EQS is on display at the CES trade show on Jan. 6 in Las Vegas. (Yonhap)

The Mercedes-Benz EQS is on show on the CES commerce present on Jan. 6 in Las Vegas. (Yonhap)

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

Imported automobile manufacturers’ gross sales in 2022 elevated by 2.6 % on-year to 283,435 models, in accordance with information from the Korea Car Importers and Distributors Affiliation. Including the gross sales quantity of 14,571 automobiles for Tesla, which was not counted by the affiliation, the determine got here to 298,006 models, growing twofold 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 % improve from a yr earlier. It maintained its No. 1 spot for a seventh consecutive yr.

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

Consultants say imported automobile manufacturers noticed massive gross sales beneficial properties reeling from pent-up shopper demand throughout the pandemic period.

“Additionally, two years of chip scarcity 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 automobile manufacturers has narrowed as nicely, taking away some great benefits of native manufacturers – shorter ready interval and value effectiveness,” mentioned Kim Pil-su, an automotive engineering professor at Daelim College.

However Kim mentioned international automobile manufacturers may not see 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 more likely to take pleasure in gross sales progress even throughout an financial slowdown.”

Whereas imported automobile manufacturers posted stellar performances, native manufacturers together with Hyundai Motor, Kia, GM Korea, Renault Korea and KG Mobility, beforehand often known as SsangYong Motors, noticed slight decreases in gross sales final yr. Their 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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