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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.

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.

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 and Top 57 local models below.

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