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South Korea June 2019: Hyundai Sonata repeats at #1 in difficult context (-7%)

The Hyundai Sonata is the best-selling vehicle at home for the 2nd month running.

This article has been updated with the Top 85 foreign models.

New car sales in South Korea drop -7% year-on-year in June to 144.349 units, leading to a year-to-date tally down -4.3% to 863.663. Local carmakers resist better at -5.2% to 124.963 and 86.6% while foreigners sink -16.8% to 19.386 and 13.4%. The situation is even more contrasted year-to-date where locals only edge down -1% to 754.311 and 87.3% whereas foreigners freefall -22.1% to 109.354 and 12.7%. Local behemoth Hyundai (+3.4%) fights the negative trend with a good lift to 39.2% share while sister brand Kia (-7.8%) is in difficulty but scores a higher share than YTD at 29.4% vs. 28.1%.

Only Renault Samsung (+6.2%) is in positive among the other locals, with Genesis (-7.8%) but most worryingly Ssangyong (-15.1%) and GM Korea (-39.3%!) in dire straits. Mercedes (+6.1%) steps up to #5 overall, by far the most popular foreign brand above BMW (-21.5%) and Toyota (+5.6%) while Honda (+50.6%), Lexus (+37.2%) and Jeep (+39.3%) stun with the largest gains in market. In contrast, Volkswagen (-65.9%), Land Rover (-57.9%), Porsche (-50.6%), Jaguar (-39.7%), Nissan (-32.7%), Peugeot (-31.5%), Mini (-29%) and Ford/Lincoln (-24.9%) all implode.

Excellent start for the Lincoln Nautilus in South Korea.

Model-wise, the Hyundai Sonata (+87.3%) celebrates two consecutive months in pole position thanks to the new generation, distancing the Hyundai Porter (+8.7%) now only 346 sales off the YTD top spot still held for now by the Hyundai Grandeur (-25.6%) hit full frontal by the new Sonata. The Santa Fe (-9.7%) enables Hyundai to monopolise the Top 4 as it has been the case every month in 2019 so far. The Kia Niro (+103.8%), Samsung QM6 (+67.8%), Kia Ray (+62.1%) and K7 (+36.7%) also impress.

In the foreign models aisle, the Mercedes E-Class (+9.5%) remains ultra-dominant, selling 2.4 times the #2 the BMW 5 Series (-27.7%) while the Mercedes C-Class (+125.8%) and GLC (-9.9%) hold onto their respective #3 and #4 spots. The VW Arteon steps up one rank on May to #6, the Mercedes CLS shoots back up to #11, with the Lexus NX (+325.8%), Mercedes GLA (+254.1%), Jeep Grand Cherokee (+147.1%), Toyota RAV4 (+110.1%), Volvo XC60 (+97.5%), BMW 6 Series (+84%) and 1 Series (+51.5%) all in outstanding shape in the Top 30. Launched last month, the Lincoln Nautilus is already up 29 spots #38.

Previous month: South Korea May 2019: New generation lifts Hyundai Sonata to first pole position in 3.5 years

One year ago: South Korea June 2018: Hyundai Santa Fe cements leadership

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

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