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South Korea February 2019: Hyundai monopolises Top 6 for the first time in at least 7 years, Palisade holds at #4

The Hyundai Palisade ranks 4th at home in South Korea for the second month running.

This article along with all South Korea monthly articles since January 2018 have been updated with the Top 85 foreign models.

The South Korean new light vehicle market is down 2.3% year-on-year in February to 122.454 units, a decline solely triggered by particularly weak sales by foreign manufacturers: down 20.3% to just 15.885 whereas local brands improve at +1.1% to 106.569. The year-to-date tally also tilts into negative at -0.3% to 258.116 sales, here too the works of foreign carmakers down 16.9% to 34.083 just as locals gain 2.8% to 224.033. Brand leader Hyundai (+8.9%) is in excellent shape and improves its share to 40.2% this month and 40.5% YTD (+15.7%). In contrast sister brand Kia (-10.2%) suffers and falls to 27.1% of its home market. Ssangyong (+39.2%) takes advantage of a raft of new launches to post by far the largest gain among local manufacturers, holding onto the third spot overall with 8% share this month.

GM Korea (-10.8%) and Renault Samsung (-8%) are both down, but much less so than in previous months and as a result both manage to slide back into the overall Top 5. Genesis (-16.5%) is in great difficulty already but still manages to outsell all foreign premium brands, which is the reason why it was created in the first place. Mercedes (-41.7%) and even more strikingly BMW (-61.8%) totally implode this month just as Audi (+9438.9%) is reborn after emissions irregularities prevented it to be sold in the country for many months. Honda (+140.2%), Porsche (+132.8%), Volvo (+66.7%), Jeep/Chrysler (+65.9%) and Lexus (+25.8%) are the best performing brands in the remainder of the ranking.

Over in the local models ranking, the Hyundai Grandeur (-14.1%) holds onto the pole position for the 4th straight month despite a steep year-on-year drop, holding off the Hyundai Santa Fe (+69.6%) with the Hyundai Porter (-5.5%) knocked down to #2. The all-new Hyundai Palisade posts a second straight month at a stunning 4th place overall, while the Sonata (+11.8%) and Avante (-14.4%) mean the February Top 6 is 100% Hyundai fir the first time since BSCB started following South Korea month in December 2012, the brand’s previous best being a full Top 5 in both December 2012 and July 2013. The Kia K900 (+2223.1%), Soul (+353.7%), Kia K3 (+71.7%), Carnival (+39.3%), Ssangyong Korando Sports (+29.3%), Chevrolet Trax (+24.5%), Genesis G70 (+23.4%) and Samsung QM6 (+21.1%) also post spectacular gains.

In the foreign models aisle, the Mercedes E-Class (-51.6%) remains the best-seller despite losing more than half its volume year-on-year, followed this month by the Audi A6, Lexus ES (+17.7%) and Mercedes C-Class (-42%). The Honda Accord (+25550%), Porsche Cayenne (+6125%), Land Rover Discovery Sport (+83.7%) and Toyota Camry (+36.3%) post superb gains in the remainder of the Top 10.

Previous month: South Korea January 2019: Hyundai Palisade up to #4

One year ago: South Korea February 2018: Mercedes and BMW above GM Korea for the first time

Full February 2019 Top 30 All-brands, Top 57 local models and Top 85 foreign models below.

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