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South Korea September 2018: Hyundai Grand Starex up to #6 in freefalling market

The facelifted Hyundai Grand Starex is up to its highest ranking in at least 6 years.

* See the Top 30 brands and Top 60 local models by clicking on the title *

It’s a month to forget in South Korea with September deliveries plunging down 17.2% year-on-year to just 127.352 units, the first double-digit decline since October 2017 (-11%). Local carmakers tumble down 17.5% to 110.130 units while foreigners follow suit for once at -14.9% to 17.222 and 13.5% share vs. 15% so far this year. The year-to-date volume remains in positive – just – at +1.6% to 1.329.851 with dynamic foreigner manufacturers up 16.7% to 197.355 pulling the entire market into positive and compensating for weak locals down 0.6% to 1.132.496. Hyundai (-17%) matches the market decline at 38% share vs. 36.2% YTD, whereas sister brand Kia (-25%) falls faster to 28.1% vs. 29.7%. Ssangyong (-19%) and GM Korea (-17%) follow the overall direction but Renault Samsung (-9%) slows down its fall to hit 5.3% share vs. 4.7% so far in 2018. Genesis soars 187%, still mainly thanks to the renaming of the G70 into a Genesis nameplate, managing to outsell all foreign premium carmakers for the second month in a tow at 3.2% share.

After an emissions-linked stop-sale order kept Audi and Volkswagen away from the South Korean market from July 2016 to March 2018, both German have now fully recovered. In 7th place, Audi reaches its highest overall ranking in South Korea since March 2015 while Volkswagen, at #8, is at its highest since March 2016. In fact, having Audi and Volkswagen as the two best-selling foreign marques had not happened in at least 4 years. BMW (-61%) and Mercedes (-65%) take the brunt of the VW Group’s return into Korean dealerships. Peugeot (+52%), Citroen (+50%), Jeep/Chrysler (+45%), Toyota (+30%) and Volvo (+28%) are all in great shape this month.

In the local models ranking, the Hyundai Santa Fe (+130%) celebrates 7 consecutive months at #1, a streak that is potentially unique in the history of the nameplate at home. However, the first two months of the year when the previous generation was on sale, continue to prevent the Santa Fe from holding the YTD crown, still going to the Hyundai Grandeur (-33%) stuck at #2 this month. The Hyundai Grand Starex (+24%) leaps up 16 spots on August to #6, reaching its highest ranking at home in at least 6 years. The Hyundai Veloster (+3253%), Kia K9 (+1192%), Genesis G70 (+165%), Ssangyong Korando Sports (+56%) also shine.

Previous month: South Korea August 2018: Hyundai Santa Fe marks 6 months at #1

One year ago: South Korea September 2017: Kia Sorento hits record in market up 20%

Full September 2018 Top 30 brands and Top 60 local models below.

South Korea August 2018: Hyundai Santa Fe marks 6 months at #1

Hyundai Santa Fe

* See the Top 30 brands and Top 60 local models by clicking on the title *

The South Korean new car market gains a relatively solid 5.2% year-on-year in August to 145.542 units, once again helped by very healthy sales by foreign manufacturers up 9.5% to 13.2% share while local marques advance slower at +4.5% to 126.336. The picture isn’t as stark as YTD though where local brands actually drop -0.6% to 1.022.366 and it’s foreigners up 16.7% to 180.133 that are solely responsible for the market 1.6% uptick to 1.202.499 units. Hyundai (+1%) continues to underperform due to the transfer of some Hyundai Genesis sales into the Genesis brand but remains at an ultra-dominant 37.4% share vs. 36% so far in 2018. Sister brand Kia (+8%) fares better at 30.4% vs. 29.8% as does Ssangyong (+10%) bolstered by a handful of reimagined nameplates.

Renault Samsung (+2%) posts its first year-on-year gain in 13 months (since July 2017) after falling by the double-digits during 10 of the past 12 months, at its worst at -46% last October. GM Korea (-26%) can’t say the same, enduring an 18th consecutive double-digit drop. Genesis (+358%) is back to #6 overall for the first time since last January, meaning it outsells all luxury foreigners such as Mercedes (-43%), BMW (-42%) and Audi (#9) continuing its recovery alongside VW (#10) after being sidestepped by the Korean government over unlawful emissions. Porsche (+512%), Jaguar (+113%), Land Rover (+76%), Rolls-Royce (+71%), Cadillac (+59%), Volvo (+50%), Honda (+34%) and Ford/Lincoln (+32%) also have a big smile on their faces.

Model-wise, the Hyundai Santa Fe (+121%) is the most popular nameplate at home for the 6th month in a row thanks to the new generation, a feat the nameplate hadn’t managed in almost 15 years and even perhaps ever, as it is unclear how many months the Santa Fe spent at #1 in 2014 which is the only year it ended at #1. However because the previous generation had such low scores during the first two months of 2018, the Santa Fe still isn’t #1 YTD, an honour that still goes to the Hyundai Grandeur (+9%) with a 4.500-unit advantage. The Hyundai Avante (+9%) returns to the podium ahead of the Kia Carnival (+32%) while the remainder of the Top 10 is in negative except the Hyundai Tucson (+0.3%) up 9 spots on July thanks to a mid-cycle facelift. The Hyundai Veloster (+5575%), Kia K9 (+1464%), Chevrolet Bolt (+1032%), Kia Niro (+92%), Ssangyong Korando Sports (+86%), Kia Ray (+76%), Samsung QM6 (+75%), Kia K5 (+47%) and Kia Sportage (+34%) also make waves.

Previous month: South Korea July 2018: Santa Fe, foreigners pull market up 4.1%

One year ago: South Korea August 2017: Hyundai Kona in Top 10

Full August 2018 Top 30 brands and Top 60 local models below.

South Korea July 2018: Santa Fe, foreigners pull market up 4.1%

The Hyundai Santa Fe has been the best-selling vehicle in South Korea for the past 5 months.

* See the Top 30 brands and Top 60 local models by clicking on the title *

New car sales in South Korea gain 4.1% year-on-year to 154.310 registrations, once again generously helped by foreigners up 10.1% to 13.3% share while local carmakers are up 3.2% to 133.792. The year-to-date picture is even more striking, with foreign manufacturers, up 17.6% to 160.927 units, solely responsible for the market growth at +1.2% to 1.056.957 just as local carmakers drop 1.3% to 896.030. Brand leader Hyundai (-4%) loses ground but sister marque Kia (+8%) is very dynamic, as is Ssangyong (+13%) whereas Renault Samsung (-4%) and more worryingly GM Korea (-17%) continue to skid down. Mercedes (-14%) remains the most popular foreign carmaker despite a steep year-on-year fall, with Genesis (+299%) once again posting extravagant gains thanks to the rebranding of the Hyundai Genesis into Genesis G80. BMW soars 24% but stays #8 while Volkswagen (#9) and Audi (#10) are finally reunited in the Top 10 for the first time in over two years (June 2016) after being absent of the South Korean ranking altogether due to stop sales ordered on its diesel models. Porsche (+62%), Rolls Royce (+57%), Volvo (+30%), Land Rover (+28%) and Toyota (+21%) make themselves noticed whereas Nissan (-41%), Jaguar (-33%), Lexus (-32%), Honda (-30%) and Infiniti (-28%) are in great difficulty.

Ssangyong Rexton Sports

In the local models aisle, the Hyundai Santa Fe (+169%) celebrates five consecutive months in pole position thanks to the new generation, a feat the nameplate hadn’t managed in almost 15 years. Because its sales were so superior to the previous model on sale until last February, the Santa Fe weirdly still doesn’t hold the YTD top spot, and by far: the Hyundai Grandeur (-29%) is still on top by a comfortable 5.393 units: the gap between the two models is 1.322 sales in July so at this rate, the Santa Fe will have to wait until November to take the lead, if it ever does… The Hyundai Porter (-8%) and Avante (+6%) make the Top Four 100% Hyundai for the first time since exactly a year ago in July 2017. The Kia Carnival (+19%) and Sorento (+1%) follow and are the only other Top 10 models in positive alongside the Hyundai Kona (+56%) returning among South Korea’s ten favourite for the first time since last February. The Ssangyong Rexton Sports (+144%) has now clearly established its new status as the brand’s best-seller (third consecutive month), with the Hyundai Veloster (+2500%), Chevrolet Bolt/Volt (+1509%), Kia K9 (+771%), Samsung SM5 (+126%), Kia K3 (+98%) and Samsung QM6 (+74%) also posting spectacular gains.

June 2018 Foreign models data will be uploaded when available.

Previous month: South Korea June 2018: Hyundai Santa Fe cements leadership

One year ago: South Korea July 2017: Hyundai Kona and Kia Stonic land

Full July 2018 Top 30 brands and Top 60 local models below.

South Korea June 2018: Hyundai Santa Fe cements leadership

The Hyundai Santa Fe enjoys a 4th consecutive month in pole position.

* See the Top 30 brands, Top 60 local models and Top 85 foreigners by clicking on the title *

The South Korea new car market sinks 5% year-on-year in June to 155.138 registrations, just as foreign carmakers drop 2% to 23.311 units, this time failing to offset local carmakers’ 6% decline at 131.827. This negative result, the second year-on-year drop in 2018, pulls the YTD volume gain to a meagre +1% to 902.647 deliveries. Strikingly, the Top 6 best-selling brands all post year-on-year falls: market leader Hyundai skids down 10% to 35.3% share, Kia is down 2% to 29.7%, Ssangyong down 8% to 6.2%, GM Korea down 17% to 6.1%, Renault Samsung down 21% to 4.6% and even the best-selling foreign carmaker, Mercedes, is hit at -20% to 4% share.

Record volume for the Chevrolet Bolt. Picture Esquire Korea.

Genesis soars 4-fold to 3.1% mainly due to the rebranding of its most popular model, the G80, from Hyundai to Genesis during the past year. Below, BMW (-24%) is also in freefall but remains well above all other foreign manufacturers, selling more than double its immediate followers Volkswagen, already down 16% on May for its return in market after a year-long stop sale order, Land Rover (+52%) and Toyota (+47%). Audi is also weak at just 0.8% share, while Peugeot (+42%) and Porsche (+40%) shine but remain at micro levels, both holding a tiny 0.3% share. Honda (-70%), Infiniti (-42%), Cadillac (-30%), Jaguar (-28%), Nissan (-23%), Bentley (-21%) and Citroen (-20%) all implode.

The Chevrolet Equinox has landed in South Korea.

Over in the local models ranking, the Hyundai Santa Fe (+104%) posts a 4th consecutive month as the best-selling nameplate at home, a feat it hadn’t managed since 2004. This is still however far from enough to snap the YTD pole position, a ranking held by the Hyundai Grandeur (-29%) with a 6.715 unit advantage. The Hyundai Porter (-16%) remains faithful to the 3rd spot it holds YTD despite a steep drop, and is followed by the Kia Carnival (+7%) and Sorento (+2%) continuing their outstanding career given their price tag. The Hyundai Grand Starex (+21%) takes advantage of its facelift, as does the Kia K3 (+56%) which however drops out of the Top 10. The Ssangyong Korando Sports (+108%) is the brand’s best-seller for the 2nd month in a row and since November 2014, the Chevrolet Volt/Bolt tandem hits its largest ever monthly volume at 1.648 and the Chevrolet Equinox lands at a shy 43rd place.

The VW Tiguan has returned to South Korea at #3 foreigner in May.

Since last month we can share with you a Top 85 foreign models ranking with one month delay, so it’s time for May data. The Mercedes E-Class reclaims the top spot it holds YTD off the BMW 5 Series, and is now outsold by the Genesis G90 in the premium models race. The event of the month is the return of the VW Tiguan, landing directly at a stunning 3rd place above the Audi A6 and Toyota Camry. The Mercedes S-Class is back up 5 spots on April to #6, ahead of the Mercedes C-Class (-3), Lexus ES (+1), Mercedes GLC (+1) and VW Passat GT (-3). The BMW 4 Series slices its April ranking in two at #13, the Mini Clubman is up 15 to #14, the Honda Accord is back in the game at #17, the Jeep Wrangler up 28 to #24 and the Lexus LS up 27 to #47. Notice also the Jaguar E-Pace at #82.

Previous month: South Korea May 2018: Hyundai Santa Fe 3peats, foreign brands up 23%

One year ago: South Korea June 2017: Hyundai Grandeur leads, Kia Stinger in Top 30

Full June 2018 Top 30 brands and Top 60 models, Full May 2018 Top 85 foreigners below.

South Korea May 2018: Hyundai Santa Fe 3peats, foreign brands up 23%

The Hyundai Santa Fe threepeats at #1 for the first time in 14 years.

* See the Top 30 brands, Top 60 local models and Top 85 foreigners by clicking on the title *

New car sales in South Korea edge up 2% year-on-year in May to 157.433 registrations, with foreign carmakers solely responsible for this month’s gain as they soar 23% to 23.770 units and 15.1% share just as local manufacturers edge down 1% to 133.663. The year-to-date picture is identical with an overall market up a shy 2% to 747.509, foreigners up 24% to 117.098 and 15.7% share and locals down 1% to 630.411. In the brands ranking, Hyundai drops 4% to 36.3% share whereas  sister company Kia gains 8% to 29.9%. Ssangyong is down 5% to 6.2% share but remains in third place while GM Korea sinks 35% but rallies back up 3 spots on April to #4 and Renault Samsung dives 20% year-on-year and one rank on last month to #5. It is the first time since last November that the Big 5 Korean carmakers hold the Top 5 spots at home.

The Korando Sports is Ssangyong’s best-seller at home for the first time since November 2014.

Mercedes (+15%) remains the most popular foreign manufacturer but is down two spots on April to #6 ahead of BMW (+3%) down one to #6. Genesis surges 249% year-on-year but is stuck at #8, while Volkswagen returns to the Korean Top 10 for the first time sine June 2016 after a stop sale order brought its deliveries to standstill. Toyota (+71%) rounds up the Top 10 just above Audi, also back on deck after stop sales, Land Rover (+79%) and Lexus (+18%) all frankly outpacing the market. Further down, Peugeot (+43%) and Volvo (+31%) impress but the majority of other carmakers fall heavily, with Bentley (-72%), Honda (-47%), Citroen (-40%), Infiniti (-35%), Mini (-35%), Cadillac (-32%), Jaguar (-28%) and Nissan (-28%) the hardest hit.

The newly launched Samsung Clio is climbing up the ranking fast.

Model-wise, the Hyundai Santa Fe enjoys a third consecutive month as the best-selling vehicle at home, a feat it hadn’t managed since 2004, but its domination seems like it will be ending imminently, with the gap over the #2, the Hyundai Grandeur (still #1 YTD), reducing from 1.933 units in April to just 232 this month. The Hyundai Porter (-7%) and Kia Carnival (+30%) hold onto their April ranking at #3 and #4 respectively, with the Hyundai Avante (-16%) returning to the Top 5 ahead of the Kia Sorento (+1%) and Hyundai Sonata (-27%). The recently facelifted Kia K3 soars 123% year-on-year but drops four ranks on April to #9, the Ssangyong Korando Sports is up 131% and 6 ranks to hit its highest ranking in at least 6 years at #11, toppling the Tivoli to become Ssangyong’s best-seller at home for the first time since November 2014. The Samsung Clio, launched last month, leaps up 20 spots to #35 with 756 sales.

The BMW 5 Series is the best-selling foreign nameplate in South Korea in April.

From this month onwards all our monthly South Korean updates will include a detailed ranking of the best-selling foreign models with one month delay. So this month we can share with you April 2018 data that sees the BMW 5 Series snaps the top spot for the first time this year with just under 3.400 sales, a score that would see it leap to #14 in an all-models ranking. It is followed by the 2017 and 2018YTD leader the Mercedes E-Class while the Audi A6 shoots up 45 spots on March to land on the third step of the podium as sales are now allowed in the country. The Mercedes C-Class is up one rank to #4, exchanging positions with its archenemy, the BMW 3 Series and both overtaking the Toyota Camry down 3 to #6. Another revenant, the VW Passat GT breaks into the Top 10 at #7 (+7), with the Ford Explorer, Lexus ES and Mercedes GLC rounding up the Top 10. Other great performers include the Volvo XC60 at #13, the BMW X4 at #17, Toyota Prius C at #21, Volvo XC90 at #29 and Jeep Cherokee at #32. The Range Rover Velar (#41) leads newcomers.

Previous month: South Korea April 2018: Hyundai Santa Fe scores 1st back-to-back wins in 13 years

One year ago: South Korea May 2017: Ssangyong Rexton G4 and Kia Stinger land

Full May 2018 Top 30 brands, Top 60 local models and April 2018 Top 85 foreigners below.

South Korea April 2018: Hyundai Santa Fe scores 1st back-to-back win in 13 years

The Hyundai Santa Fe is the best-selling vehicle in South Korea for the 2nd month running.

* See the Top 30 brands and Top 60 local models by clicking on the title *

The South Korean new car market resumes its progression in April at +8% to 165.355 registrations, helped by a 29% year-on-year surge by foreign carmakers at 25.923 units while local manufacturers edge up 5% to 139.432. Year-to-date, the market’s 2% uptick is solely due to foreigners soaring 24% to 93.328 whereas homegrown marques are down 1% to 496.748. Brand leader Hyundai reverses 1% to 35.5% share this month vs. 35.7% YTD (-3%) with sister brand Kia catching up at +15% to 30.2% vs. 29.6% YTD (+6%). Ssangyong (-3%) remains in third place while Mercedes posts a spectacular 28% improvement to 4.4% at #4, once again distancing Renault Samsung (-21%) at #5. BMW (+4%) remains in 6th place, making it the third consecutive month – and ever – that two foreign marques outselling embattled GM Korea, imploding another 54% year-on-ytear in April to just 3.3% share vs. 4.3% so far in 2018. It is now down to #6 YTD vs. #3 in FY2017.

The Kia K3 is up 147% to #5 thanks it its facelift.

Genesis (+452%) continues to posts extravagant gains but this is because the Hyundai Genesis was rebranded Genesis G80 in November last year and accounts for over 60% of the new premium marque’s sales. Audi is up 16 spots on March to return among South Korea’s Top 10 brands for the first time since July 2016 before a stop sales on its diesel variants reduced its deliveries to nought. Volkswagen is also slowly climbing back the South Korean marques ladder after 1.5 years of absence, up 5 ranks on last month to #15 and 0.5% share for the month. Land Rover (+97%), Toyota (+92%), Volvo (+59%), Porsche (+42%), Ford/Lincoln (+29%) and Cadillac (+29%) are among the best performing brands in April.

The Clio appears in the local models ranking as a Samsung but is still sold with a Renault badge here.

Over in the models ranking, the Hyundai Santa Fe is propelled up 204% year-on-year by the new 4th generation to score a second consecutive monthly win. This is the first time in at least 13 years that the Santa Fe manages back-to-back wins at home in South Korea, with its previous (single month) victories being in June 2012, July 2015 and September 2016The Santa Fe topped the annual South Korean rankings once: in 2004 and now ranks #2 YTD with sales up 73% to just above 32.000. The Hyundai Grandeur (-21%) remains in 2nd place despite a steep year-on-year drop  and holds onto its YTD pole position for now at 39.000 units. It distances the Hyundai Porter (+7%), Kia Carnival (+40%) and the Kia K3 boosted up 147% by its facelift. The Ssangyong G4 Rexton (+469%), Kia K9 (+1021%) and Hyundai Veloster (+2800%), also get facelifted-induced sales injections while the Hyundai Nexo is up to a timid 51 sales and the Renault Samsung Clio makes its first appearance in the ranking at #55, although still branded Renault here.

Previous month: South Korea March 2018: Hyundai Santa Fe shoots to #1, Nexo lands

One year ago: South Korea March-April 2017: Hyundai Grandeur dominates

Full April 2018 Top 30 brands and Top 60 local models below.

South Korea March 2018: Hyundai Santa Fe shoots to #1, Nexo lands

The new generation Hyundai Santa Fe is the best-selling vehicle in South Korea this month.

* See the Top 30 brands and Top 60 local models by clicking on the title *

New car sales in South Korea edge down 0.5% year-on-year in March to 165.834 units, with once again very dynamic foreign carmakers up 20% to 26.402 failing to compensate for ailing local manufacturers down 4% to 139.432. Year-to-date, total volumes are now down 0.1% to 424.731 with the same situation repeating: foreign carmakers are up 23% to 67.405 but local manufacturers down 4% to 357.316. In March market leader Hyundai drops 1% to 37.2% share, well above its YTD level of 35.8% (-4%). It is followed as usual by sister brand Kia up 2% to 29.3%, exactly the same scores as YTD. Ssangyong remains the #3 brand in the country with stable sales this month (+0.2%).

First appearance of the Hyundai Nexo in the South Korean sales charts.

GM Korea’s dire situation with rumours of folding up and the closure of at least one of its Korea plants triggers freefalling sales at -58% year-on-year and some unheard-of events again. Both Mercedes (+18%) and BMW (+14%) outsell GM Korea for the 2nd month running and ever. Added to this, Mercedes also sells more than Renault Samsung (-26%) to rank #4 overall. Genesis (+318%) is stuck at the bottom end of Korean brands. Further down, a long list of foreign carmakers post spectacular gains, such as Toyota (+85%), Porsche (+68%), Mini (+62%), Honda (+57%), Audi (+47%), Peugeot (+44%) and Land Rover (+34%). A momentous event also occurs in March: the return of Volkswagen in the South Korean charts at #20 after 16 months of absence due to a stop-sale ordered in the wake of its emissions scandal, starting with the Passat GT – the only model available in its South Korean lineup for now. The last time Volkswagen ranked in South Korea was in October 2016.

Volkswagen returns to South Korea with the Passat GT.

The fourth generation launched in late February propels the Hyundai Santa Fe directly into the local pole position with sales up 140% on the previous model in March 2017. It has become a bit of a routine now: when a new generation or a significant facelift is released, the Santa Fe briefly shoots to #1. It was the case in June 2012 when the third generation launched, and in July 2015 and September 2016 with subsequent facelifts. However this month the Santa Fe sells over 13.000 units, which our records show is a new monthly volume record for the nameplate, so its domination could be more lengthy. The Santa Fe topped the annual South Korean rankings once: in 2004.

Mercedes is the 4th best-selling carmaker in South Korea this month.

The Santa Fe win puts an end to 15 consecutive months of Hyundai Grandeur domination, the sedan dropping a steep 21% in March. The Hyundai Porter (-9%), Kia Sorento (+10%) and Hyundai Avante (-15%) all lose one spot on February while the Kia Carnival (-12%) is up 6 to #6 and the Hyundai Sonata (-25%) down two to #7. Strong performers include the Hyundai Veloster (+1295%), Ssangyong G4 Rexton (+410%), Samsung SM5 (+115%), Kia K3 (+95%), Ray (+41%), K5 (+37%) and Ssangyong Korando Sports (+36%). We welcome the all-new Electric Fuel Cell Hyundai Nexo at #57 with 11 sales.

Previous post: South Korea Full Year 2017: Now with Top 170 All foreign models

Previous month: South Korea February 2018: Mercedes & BMW > GM Korea for first time

One year ago: South Korea March-April 2017: Hyundai Grandeur dominates

Full March 2018 Top 30 brands and Top 60 local models below.

South Korea Full Year 2017: Now with Top 170 All foreign models

The Mercedes E-Class cements its domination among foreigners in South Korea.

* See the Top 170 All foreign models ranking here *

The South Korean Full Year 2017 Report has now been updated with complete foreign models data. The Mercedes E Class (+42%) and BMW 5 Series (+40%) both post spectacular gains to cement their domination, followed by the BMW 3 Series (+15%) and Mercedes C Class (-1%) like in 2016. The Lexus ES is up 22% and two spots to #5, the Honda Accord surges 84% to #7 while the Ford Explorer (+27%) and Toyota Camry (+39%) also shine in the Top 10. Below, the Nissan Altima (+34%), Mercedes GLC (+23%), BMW X5 (+61%), Mercedes AMG range (+636%) and BMW X6 (+44%) also make themselves noticed while among newcomers the Infiniti Q30 (#54), Range Rover Velar (#75) and Volvo V90 (#92) are the most popular.

South Korea February 2018: Mercedes & BMW > GM Korea for first time

Both Mercedes and BMW outsell GM Korea in February: that’s a first. 

* See the Top 30 brands and Top 60 local models by clicking on the title *

The South Korean new car market drops a steep 7.7% year-on-year in February to 125.360 units with a sharp decline by local manufacturers (-11.9% to 105.432) not compensated by very healthy foreign carmakers (up 22.9% to 19.928). Brand leader Hyundai almost double the market decline to tumble down 13% to 36.1% share, followed by Kia resisting a lot better at -5% to 29.5%. Ssangyong is down 13% to climbs one spot on January to land in third place. Below, we witness a first: both Mercedes (+12%) and BMW (+91%) manage to rank inside the Top 5, outselling both GM Korea (-48%) handicapped by the announcement of the closure of one of its Korean plants, and Renault Samsung (-33%). It is the first time a foreign manufacturer (let alone two) manages to outsell GM Korea at home. Hyundai’s new premium brand Genesis is up 310% year-on-year but down two spots to #8 or last Korean marque. Below, Cadillac (+78%), Toyota (+67%), Jaguar (+63%) and Peugeot (+35%) are among the biggest gainers.

The Hyundai Veloster is back into its home sales charts. 

Over in the local models ranking, the Hyundai Grandeur continues to dominate the charts head and shoulders but is starting to lose momentum with a steep 18% drop in February and 14% YTD. The Hyundai Porter (-6%), Kia Sorento (+16%), Hyundai Avante (-21%) and Sonata (+14%) replicate the January Top 5, while the Hyundai Santa Fe (-31%) is up 8 spots on January to #8 and the Kia K5 (+41%) also to #9. The Hyundai Kona edges up one rank on last month to return to its home Top 10 only for the 4th time and the first time since last September. Among other recent launches, the Kia Stonic is down two spots on January to #24, the Genesis G70 also down two to #29 and the Kia Stinger up two to #35. The Hyundai Veloster makes its return in the charts thanks to the new generation at #50 with 109 sales.

Previous month: South Korea January 2018: Genesis above Renault Samsung

One year ago: South Korea February 2017: Hyundai Grandeur cements leadership

Full February 2018 Top 30 brands and Top 60 local models below.

South Korea January 2018: Genesis above Renault Samsung

Genesis breaks into its home Top 5 brands for the first time.

* NOW UPDATED with the Top 30 All brands and Top 55 All local models – see title *

The Full Year 2017 Report has now been updated with the Top 30 brands

New car sales in South Korea are up 8.7% year-on-year in January to 133.527 units, including 112.452 local models (+5.9%) and 21.075 foreigners (+26.4%). Hyundai continues to dominate the brands ranking but edges up only 1% to a round 33.7% share while sister brand Kia almost doubles the market growth at +12% to 29.3% share. GM Korea continues to struggle at -33% to 5.9% while Ssangyong is up a solid 9% to 5.7%. There are two main events in South Korea this month: first Mercedes soaring to 5th place overall thanks to deliveries up 10%, second the 6th position of Hyundai’s new luxury brand Genesis, up 10-fold on January 2017 to 4.8% share.

This means both Mercedes and Genesis overtake Renault Samsung for what is believed to be the first time (in the case of Mercedes) and 100% confirmed the first time in the case of Genesis, albeit by just two units. This sales surge is almost solely due to the rebranding of the Hyundai Genesis into Genesis G80, up 13% to a record 9th place this month. BMW also males itself noticed with a 124% year-on-year surge to 4% share, less than a thousand units below Renault Samsung. Volvo (+95%), Porsche (+96%), Peugeot (+116%) and Cadillac (+70%) also shine.

In the models ranking, the Hyundai Grandeur posts a 14th consecutive month at #1 but sees its sales drop 9% year-on-year, followed by the Hyundai Porter down a harsh 21%. The Kia Sorento is up 14% to #3, ahead of the Hyundai Avante (+12%) and Sonata (+38%). The Hyundai Kona is back up 12 spots on December to #11, the Kia Stonic is up 5 to #22 and the Kia Stinger up 3 to #37.

Previous post: South Korea Full Year 2017: First win for the Hyundai Grandeur

One year ago: South Korea January 2017: Hyundai Grandeur confirms top spot

Full January 2018 Top 30 brands and Top 55 all local models below.

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