South Korea November 2016: New Hyundai Grandeur shoots up to #3

* See the Top 6 local brands and Top 55 All-local models by clicking on the title *

Sales of local nameplates in South Korea are up 2% year-on-year to 144.814 units, lifting the year-to-date tally up 1% to 1.422.745. Hyundai continues to struggle at -14% to 55.721 deliveries and 38.5% share, while sister brand Kia is less affected at -2% to 48.906 and 33.8%. Local gains are in fact the work of smaller brands: GM Korea is up a splendid 51% to 11.9% share while Renault Samsung shoots up 109% to 8.7% vs. 6.8% year-to-date (+39%). Ssangyong is also in positive at +5% while Genesis remains stuck below 1.000 monthly units.

Kia Morning South Korea November 2016The Kia Morning is the best-selling nameplate in South Korea in November. 

In the models ranking, the Kia Morning gains 4 spots on October and 13% year-on-year to snap the top spot for the first time since November 2014 ahead of the Hyundai Porter (+4%) resuming its YTD domination due to a slow month by the Hyundai Avante (-23%). The big event atop the South Korean ranking this month is the third position of the Hyundai Grandeur. Although down 2% year-on-year, this is in fact a 14 spot-jump on last month thanks to the new 2017 model just launched (see launch TV ad atop this article). The Grandeur competes with the tremendously successful Samsung SM6 – aka Renault Talisman – down one spot in November to #10. Impressive performers this month also include the Chevrolet Spark (+46%), Hyundai Genesis (+90%), Kia K7 (+95%), Chevrolet Trax (+124%) and Malibu (+389%). The Samsung QM6 – aka Renault Koleos – is down 7 ranks to #19.

Foreign brands and models data will be uploaded to this article as soon as it becomes available.

Previous month: South Korea October 2016: Samsung QM6 outsells Tucson, Sportage and Santa Fe

One year ago: South Korea November 2015: Tivoli hits highest Ssangyong ranking in 11 years

Full November 2016 Top 6 local brands and Top 55 All-local models below.

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South Korea October 2016: Samsung QM6 outsells Tucson, Sportage and Santa Fe

renault-samsung-qm6-south-korea-october-2016It’s a Samsung invasion in South Korea.

* NOW UPDATED with the Top 30 All-brands, Top 55 All-local models and Top 130 foreigners *

147.271 cars found a buyer in South Korea in October – a paltry 10% year-on-year drop –  with the slump in local fares (-13%) partly compensated by foreigners up a vigorous 18%. The year-to-date tally remains in positive at +1% to 1.464.031 units. This time local manufacturers (+3%) are handicapped by a foreigners dry patch (-20%). Hyundai remains in the lead despite an abysmal 32% freefall to 46.221 sales and 31.4% share, ahead of Kia down 14% to 27.2% and GM Korea up 14% to 11.4%. The local winner this month is Renault Samsung up a stunning 89% to 13.254 registrations, now outselling Ssangyong year-to-date for 4th place overall. Among foreigners, both Mercedes and BMW surge 72%, Lexus is up 55%, Honda up 595%, Mini up 29% and Nissan up 45%.

hyundai-avante-south-korea-october-2016-picture-courtesy-carmedia-co-krThe Hyundai Avante is now #1 YTD at home. 

This performance has everything to do with the brand’s latest two launches: the SM6 (aka Renault Talisman) brilliantly remains inside the Top 10 with 5.091 sales while the QM6 (aka Renault Koleos) jumps up 8 spots on its inaugural ranking in September to land at #12, outselling the Hyundai Tucson (#13), Kia Sportage (#14) and Hyundai Santa Fe (#15) down from #1 last month. The QM6 indeed already ranks #3 SUV at home below the Kia Sorento (#3) and Ssangyong Tivoli breaking its ranking record at #7. In other models news, the Hyundai Avante (78.253) snaps the YTD pole position off the Hyundai Porter (78.115).

cadillac-xt5-south-korea-october-2016The Cadillac XT5 has landed in South Korea. 

Over in the foreigners aisle, the Mercedes E-Class surges 149% to 3.887 sales which would place it well inside the general Top 20. The BMW 5 Series does even better, exactly tripling its sales year-on-year to 2.964. Far below, the BMW 3 Series (+81%), Mercedes C Class (-8%) and Lexus ES (+17%) complete the Top 5. The Honda Accord surges to #6, the Nissan Altima to #8, the Mini Clubman to #13 vs. #27 YTD, the Mercedes GLE to #14, Toyota Prius to #15, Lexus NX to #17 vs. #44 so far in 2016 and BMW X1 to #19 vs. #54. Notice also the Volvo XC90 at #32, the Honda HR-V at #47, while we welcome the Mercedes GLS at #92 and the Cadillac XT5 at #122. Hit by stop-sale orders affecting its entire lineup, Volkswagen only manages to see 30 units this month – all Touaregs.

Previous month: South Korea September 2016: Santa Fe leads, Samsung QM6 in Top 20

One year ago: South Korea October 2015: New Kia Sportage in Top 5

Full October 2016 Top 30 All-brands, Top 55 All-local models and Top 130 foreigners below.

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South Korea September 2016: Santa Fe leads, Samsung QM6 in Top 20

renault-samsung-qm6-south-korea-september-2016-picture-courtesy-auto-danawa-comThe Renault Koleos is sold as the Samsung QM6 in South Korea.

* NOW UPDATED with the Top 30 All-brands, Top 57 All-local models & Top 133 foreigners *

New car sales in South Korea are down a harsh 14% year-on-year in September to 127.811 units, meaning the year-to-date tally is now up just 1% on the same period last year to 1.295.479. In fact, the drop would have been even more significant were it not for the stellar performance of Renault Samsung, up 40% on its September 2015 score thanks to the arrival in the meantime of the SM6 aka Renault Talisman ranking #9 this month with 4.217 sales and the thunderous appearance of the QM6 aka Renault Koleos directly at #20 with 2.536 deliveries in September.

mercedes-e-class-south-korea-september-2016The Mercedes E-Class is the best-selling foreign model in South Korea once again. 

Hyundai skids down 22%, Kia 15% and GM Korea 14%, with Ssangyong down just 1% thanks to the Tivoli once again inside the Top 10 at #10 with 4.056 sales. Mercedes (+18%), BMW (-14%) and Lexus (+36%) lead foreign manufacturers down 18% as a whole due to the imploding of Audi (-85%) and Volkswagen (-94%) hit full frontal by stop sale orders on the majority of their lineup. Land Rover (+432%), Toyota (+29%), Mini (+41%), Jaguar (+66%) and Infiniti (+84%) are among the biggest gainers in South Korea this month. Hyundai’s new premium brand Genesis ranks 9th overall and 4th premium below just Mercedes, BMW and Lexus.

hyundai-santa-fe-south-korea-september-2016First pole position since July 2015 for the Hyundai Santa Fe at home. 

The Hyundai Santa Fe flamboyantly takes the lead of the models ranking despite seeing its deliveries drop 2% year-on-year to 7.451. It distances the Kia Sorento (-10%), Hyundai Sonata (-24%), Kia Morning (-16%) and Chevrolet Spark (-9%). Leaders year-to-date, the Hyundai Avante (-40%) and Porter (-31%) are in complete freefall. The Kia K7 reversely is up 3-fold on September 2015 (+187%) and 7 ranks on August to #8, the Chevrolet Malibu continues its race upwards at #11 (+101%), the Kia Niro is stable at #23, the Genesis EQ900 down one spot to #26 and the Hyundai Ioniq down 8 to #40.

bmw-7-series-south-korea-september-2016The BMW 7 Series shoots up to #7 among foreign models in South Korea this month. 

In the foreigners’ aisle, the Mercedes E-Class surges 44% to a splendid 2.781 sales, almost 3 times the amount of the #2, the BMW 5 Series at 1.044 (-24%) while the Mercedes C-Class (-25%) rounds up the podium above the Lexus ES (+35%) and BMW 3 Series (+55%). The BMW 7 Series soars to an exceptional 7th place, just below its archenemy the Mercedes S-Class (#6). Other great performers include the Mercedes GLC at #8, Infiniti Q50 at #15, Mini Clubman at #17, Mercedes A-Class at #26 and Citroen C4 Cactus at #34.

Previous month: South Korea August 2016: Hyundai and VW struggle, Samsung shines

One year ago: South Korea September 2015: Hyundai Avante stays ahead

Full September 2016 Top 30 All-brands, Top 57 All-local models & Top 133 foreigners below.

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South Korea August 2016: Hyundai and VW struggle, Samsung shines

Renault Samsung SM6 South Korea July 2016. Picture courtesy motorgraph.comRenault Samsung SM6 

* NOW UPDATED with Top 30 All-brands, Top 55 locals and Top 133 foreigners *

The South Korean new car market is down a harsh 11% year-on-year in August to 123.463 registrations, with local carmakers down 11% and foreigners down 13%. Yet the year-to-date tally remains in positive territory at +4% to 1.189.532 units. Locals are up 5% but foreigners down 7%. Hyundai, handicapped by repeated strikes at his local factories, is hit the hardest at -18% to 42.112 sales and 34.1% share of local brands vs. 37.1% year-to-date, with sister brand Kia registering the 2nd largest drop among locals at -10% to 37.404 and 30.3%. GM Korea falls slightly slower than the market at -8% to remain third while Renault Samsung (+24%) holds onto its newly acquired 4th spot ahead of Ssangyong (+2%), all this solely thanks to the tremendous success of the SM6 aka Renault Talisman, back inside the overall Top 10 in August with 4.577 deliveries or 59% of the brand’s sales this month.

Volkswagen South Korea July 2016. Picture courtest theguardian.com and Kim Hong Ji ReutersVolkswagen disappears at -98% with its entire lineup hit by a stop sale in South Korea.

The big story among foreign carmakers is the skidding into oblivion of Volkswagen, imploding down 98% to just 76 sales at #23 now that its entire lineup is stifled with a stop sale order. Only the VW CC (23) and Touareg (53) remain in the August sales charts, all other nameplates disappear. Audi (-83%) is also hit and drops to #15 vs. #8 year-to-date. Mercedes on the other hand is faring beautifully at +32% to 4.835 sales and 3.9% share, well ahead of BMW at 3.047 (-16%). Land Rover (+299%) and Jaguar (+332%) are the best foreign performers in August, followed by Lexus (+148%), Ford (+115%), Mini (+87%) and Honda (+76%).

chevrolet-impala-south-korea-august-2016Chevrolet Impala sales are up 118% year-on-year in South Korea. 

Over in the models ranking, the Hyundai Avante is up 3 spots on July to land in pole position for only the third time this year after February and June and despite deliveries freefalling 23% to 6.756. In fact, 6 of the Top 7 August best-sellers drop significantly vs. August 2015: the Chevrolet Spark (-16%), Kia Morning (-21%), Sorento (-25%), Hyundai Sonata (-28%) and Santa Fe (-30%). Only the Kia Carnival (+18%) goes against the grain in 6th place.

Chevrolet Volt South Korea July 2016The Chevrolet Volts arrives in South Korea in August. 

The Ssangyong Tivoli is back inside the Top 10 with 4.357 sales. The Hyundai Tucson (+31%), Chevrolet Malibu (+102%), Kia K7 (+117%) and Chevrolet Impala (+118%) post impressive gains while other recent launches mark a pause: the Kia Niro is down 2 spots on July to #23, the Genesis EQ900 is stable at #25 and the Hyundai Ioniq down 4 to #32. Finally, we welcome the Chevrolet Volt in the South Korean sales charts in August with a lonely two sales for now. The Mercedes E-Class (+60%) and C-Class (-6%) lead foreign models above the BMW 5 Series, 3 Series and Mercedes S Class. The Ford Explorer jumps to #6, the Honda Accord is up to #12 and the Cadillac CT6 makes its first appearance at #43.

Previous month: South Korea July 2016: Kia teases Hyundai for market lead, VW implodes (-86%)

One year ago: South Korea August 2016: Facelifted Chevrolet Spark soars to #4

Full August 2016 Top 30 All-brands and Top 55 locals and Top 133 foreigners below.

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South Korea July 2016: Kia teases Hyundai for market lead, Volkswagen implodes (-86%)

Kia Carnival South Korea July 2016. Picture courtesy of hankyung.comThe Kia Carnival ranks third overall in South Korea in July. 

* Now updated with the Top 30 All-brands, Top 55 local models and Top 140 foreigners *

New car sales of domestic models in South Korea are down 12% year-on-year in July to 136.814 units, but the year-to-date total is still up 6% to 1.066.069. Local makes are down 11% but foreigners freefall 24% to 11.5% share vs. 12.4% so far this year. Market leader Hyundai take a 20% hit to lower its share to 35%, that’s only 2.8 points above sister brand Kia down a more measured 9% to 32.2%. One year ago Hyundai had a 8.7 points advantage on Kia. GM Korea is up a splendid 16% to 10.5% share, with Ssangyong down 8% to 5.5% and Renault Samsung up 10% to 5.4%. Mercedes reclaims the foreign crown thanks to sales up 5% to 4.184, a long shot above BMW at 2.638 (-33%) and Audi at 1.504 (-43%). Land Rover (+31%), Volvo (+44%) and Jaguar (+96%) for their part post spectacular gains.

Volkswagen South Korea July 2016. Picture courtest theguardian.com and Kim Hong Ji ReutersVolkswagen sales are down 86% year-on-year in South Korea in July…

On the other hand, Volkswagen is hit full frontal by its lineup-wide stop sale order at a devastating -86% to just 425 units. And the brand will fall to almost zero sales in the coming month, with South Korea suspending sales of 80 Volkswagen models as part of a widening investigation into the company’s emissions cheating scandal. The environment ministry said “As of August 2 we have revoked the certification of 83,000 vehicles of 80 models,” as the problem vehicles had fabricated documents for emissions and noise-level tests.

Ford Explorer South Korea July 2016. Picture courtesy autocar.co.kr…while Ford Explorer sales are up 99%. 

Model-wise, the Hyundai Porter is back to the #1 spot it holds year-to-date despite sales down 13% year-on-year to 8.276, distancing the Hyundai Sonata (-18%) at 6.858 while the Kia Carnival jumps 8 spots on June to land on the third step of the podium in spite of deliveries down 5% year-onyear to 6.773. The Chevrolet Spark is up 91% to #6, the Kia K7 up 168% to #9, the Chevrolet Malibu up 172% to #11 and Hyundai Genesis up 49% to #12. The Samsung SM6 aka Renault Talisman, the instant blockbuster of the First Half of the year, is down to #13 in July. The Mercedes E-Class is back up 20 spots to resume its foreign model domination despite sales down 28% year-on-year to 1.215. It distances the BMW 5 Series (-31%), Mercedes C Class (+118%), Audi A6 (-42%) and Mercedes S-Class (-52%). The Ford Explorer (+99%), Mercedes CLS (+126%), GLA (+146%) and Toyota Prius (+81%) impress.

Previous post: South Korea First Half 2016: Samsung SM6 instant blockbuster

Previous month: South Korea June 2016: Hyundai Avante up 76%, Kia Niro in Top 20

One year ago: South Korea July 2015: Facelifted Hyundai Santa Fe triumphs

Full July 2016 Top 30 All-brands, Top 55 local models and Top 140 foreigners below.

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South Korea First Half 2016: Samsung SM6 instant blockbuster

Samsung SM6 South Korea March 2016The Renault Talisman is sold as the Samsung SM6 in South Korea.

* See the Top 30 All-brands, Top 60 local models and Top 170 foreigners by clicking on the title *

Now updated with foreign brands and models data.

In South Korea, new car sales are up a robust 9% over the first half of 2016 to 929.255 registrations, boosted by local manufacturers up 11% to 812.266 just as foreign ones drop 2% to 116.989. Hyundai remains the uncontested market leader but loses share at 37.8% vs. 39.4% a year ago due to sales just edging up 4% year-on-year. Kia outpaces the market at +14% to 29.8% share but the best performers over the period are GM Korea (+22%) and Renault Samsung(+26%). Foreign leaders Mercedes (+7%), BMW (-4%), Audi (-11%) and most strikingly Volkswagen (-33%) all lose market share while below, Land Rover (+64%), Infiniti (+39%), Honda (+27%), Volvo (+27%) and Lexus (+23%) all impress.

Hyundai Avante South Korea June 2016Hyundai Avante

Model-wise, as it was the case at the same time last year the Hyundai Porter is the best-seller with sales up 6% to 54.689. It however finished 2015 at #3 so may not stay in the year-to-date lead for much longer, if the Hyundai Avante (aka Elantra) shows the same strength during the rest of the year as it did in June (+76%). Leader over the Full Year 2015, the Hyundai Sonata is down 11% to third position over 10.000 units away from the top spot. Reversely, the Kia Sorento gains 13% and two spots year-on-year to land at a stunning 4th place overall, overtaking the Hyundai Santa Fe (+9%) in the race for the title of #1 SUV in South Korea.

Ssangyong Tivoli South Korea May 2016. Picture courtesy motorian.krThe Tivoli is the first Ssangyong to break into its monthly home Top 10 in 12 years.

The Chevrolet Spark for its part outpaces the Kia Morning in the minicar combat thanks to the new generation propelling it up 57% vs. -18% for the Kia. Also worth mentioning are the Kia K7 up 3-fold to #12 and the Kia Sportage up 61% to #14.Further down, two instant blockbusters single-handedly revive their respective brands. Over a year after its very successful launch, the Ssangyong Tivoli has not plateaued yet thanks to the arrival of the 7-seat XLV variant. Beating its monthly volume record on each of the past 3 months (5.375, 5.490, 5.711), in May the Tivoli was the first Ssangyong to break into the Top 10 in 12 years, since the Rexton and Musso SUT in 2004, and ranks at #13 halfway through 2016.

Genesis EQ900 South Korea June 2016Genesis EQ900

Even more spectacularly, the Samsung SM6 – sold as the Renault Talisman outside of Korea – almost instantly stormed into the Top 10 in March (#8), the first Renault Samsung to do so in 5 years, improving further to #6 both in May and June and hitting a record 7.901 units in May. It is #15 so far. More successful launches below: the Genesis EQ900 at #20, the Kia Niro at #24 and the Chevrolet Impala at #25. The Hyundai Ioniq is more discreet at #33.. Over in the foreign models aisle, the BMW 5 Series takes the lead despite sales down 12% to 7.342, followed by the Audi A6 (+18%) whereas 2015’s leader the Mercedes E-Class is down 26% to #3. The BMW 3 Series (-10%) and VW Tiguan (-15%) round out the Top 5, with the Mercedes GLC (#13), Land Rover Discovery Sport (#15) and Mercedes GLE (#20) the most popular newcomers.

Previous post: South Korea June 2016: Hyundai Avante up 76%, Kia Niro in Top 20

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South Korea June 2016: Hyundai Avante up 76%, Kia Niro in Top 20

Kia Niro South Korea June 2016Kia Niro

* See the Top 30 All-brands, Top 55 local models and Top 143 foreigners by clicking on the title *

Now updated with foreign brands and models rankings.

The South Korean new car market is up 16% year-on-year in June to 184.437 units, lifting the half-year tally up 9% to 929.255. Local manufacturers are solely responsible for this uptick with sales up 19% in June and 11% year-to-date whereas foreign brands are down 4% in June and 2% year-to-date. Hyundai under-performs once again at +11% to 69.970 units and 42.3% share whereas sister company Kia does better at +17% to 52.506 sales but is still below market growth. Reversely, GM Korea shoots up 48% to 18.058 and Renault Samsung gains 60% to 10.778 deliveries, solely thanks to the tremendous and continuing success of the all-new SM6 (aka Renault Talisman), once again the 6th best-selling vehicle in the country this month.

Hyundai Avante South Korea June 2016. Picture courtesy minyouhwa.comThe Hyundai Avante is up 76% in June at home. 

Hyundai places four nameplates in the Top 4 this month, with the Avante (aka Elantra) shooting up 76% to reclaim the top spot ahead of the Porter, Santa Fe and Sonata. The Kia Sorento holds strong at #5, the Hyundai Tucson is up 33% to #7, the Chevrolet Malibu is up almost 5-fold on June 2015 to break into the Top 10 for the very first time in South Korea thanks to a new generation, the Ssangyong Tivoli is up 57% to break its monthly volume record anew to 5.711 sales but is down 4 spots on May to #13, the Kia K7 is up 205% to #15 and the Kia Sportage is up 65% to #16 thanks to the new model. Let’s also salute the very solid performance of the Kia Niro hybrid, breaking into the Top 20 this month thanks to 3.246 sales, to be compared with just 761 deliveries for its platform twin the Hyundai Ioniq (#34). The Genesis EQ900 has stabilised around 3.000 monthly units.

Audi A6 South Korea June 2016The Audi A6 is the most popular foreigner in South Korea in June.

Among foreign carmakers, BMW remains on top for the third consecutive month despite sales down 16% to 4.820, distancing Mercedes (+8%) and Audi (+28%) while Volkswagen implodes down 58% due to renewed stop-sale orders on its scandal-embroiled diesel lineup. Jaguar (+83%), Lexus (+76%), Volvo (+76%), Toyota (+64%), Honda (+48%) and Land Rover (+38%) on the other hand display spectacular gains. Model-wise, a generation changeover has cost the Mercedes E-Class its YTD pole position, now held by the BMW 5 Series despite sales down 47% to #5. The Audi A6 is the most popular in June ahead of the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes S Class, with the Land Rover Discovery Sport also impressive at #11.

Previous month: South Korea May 2016: Samsung SM6 and Ssangyong Tivoli break records

One year ago: South Korea June 2015: Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Sorento shoot up

Full June 2016 Top 30 All-brands and Top 55 local models and Top 143 foreigners below.

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South Korea May 2016: Samsung SM6 & Ssangyong Tivoli break records

Renault Samsung SM6 South Korea May 2016. Picture courtesy bobaedream.co.krExtraordinary success for the Renault-Samsung SM6.

* Now updated with the Top 30 All-brands, Top 55 All-local models and Top 140 foreigners *

Sales of new light vehicles in South Korea are up a stunning 18% year-on-year in May to 165.285 registrations, but for once it’s neither Hyundai (+11%) nor Kia (+19%) that are the engine of growth in the country. GM Korea is up 41% to 17.179 sales, boosted by the fantastic success of the new generation Chevrolet Spark up 114% to #3 and the new Malibu up 169%. Renault Samsung delivers the best performance at +68% to 11.004 units, single-handedly lifted by the tremendous welcome South Korean consumers have reserved for the SM6 (aka Renault Talisman) up to a record-breaking 6th place overall this month with 7.901 deliveries. This is the highest ranking a Renault-Samsung has achieved at home in almost 6 years – since October 2010 when the SM5 ranked 6th also (and that’s the month when BSCB was launched too).

Ssangyong Tivoli South Korea May 2016. Picture courtesy motorian.krThe Ssangyong Tivoli breaks into the Top 10 for the first time at home. 

Renault Samsung knocks Ssangyong down to 5th place in the brands ranking (+19%) but the brand posts the other record-breaking milestone in May: partly thanks to its new longer variant (pictured above), the Tivoli is up two spots on last month to break into the South Korean Top 10 for the first time at #9 with 5.490 sales. This makes the Tivoli the first Ssangyong to rank inside its home Top 10 in 12 yearssince the Rexton and Musso SUT in 2004. In other local models news, the Hyundai Porter cements its market leadership with sales up 30% to 9.597, distancing the Hyundai Sonata at 8.547 (-10%), the Genesis EQ900 (#21) and Kia Niro (#22) confirm their solid career starts while the Hyundai Ioniq is stuck at #35.

Honda Accord South Korea May 2016. Picture courtesy gpkorea.comThe Honda Accord is up to #7 foreigner in May in South Korea thanks to the new model. 

BMW is the most popular foreign carmaker in South Korea for the 2nd month in a row and the third time this year thanks to stable sales at 4.651 units whereas Mercedes slides 11% to 3.148 but remains in the year-to-date lead at 19.953 deliveries (+7%) vs. 18.334 (-1%) for BMW. Audi stuns with a 55% gain to 2.336 units, keeping ahead of Volkswagen down 8% to 2.326. Land Rover (+163%), Honda (+109%), Chrysler (+69%), Jaguar (+32%), Volvo (+27%) and Toyota (+26%) all post spectacular gains but Ford (-12%), Nissan (-22%), Jeep (-26%) and Peugeot (-50%) tumble down.

Model-wise, the leading quartet is unchanged on April, with the BMW 5 Series in the lead (+14%) ahead of the Audi A6 (+158%), Mercedes C-Class (+269%) and BMW 3 Series (-38%). Meanwhile, the Mercedes E-Class, still the 2016 YTD leader, is stuck at a paltry 69th spot due to its generation changeover. Notice also the Honda Accord leaping 54 spots on last month to #7, the BMW 1 Series up 24 to #10 and the Land Rover Discovery Sport up to #15.

The April 2016 post has now been updated with All-brands and All-foreign models data

Previous month: South Korea April 2016: Kia Niro almost in Top 20

One year ago: South Korea May 2015: Hyundai Sonata reclaims pole position

Full May 2016 Top 30 All-brands, Top 55 All-local models and Top 140 All-foreigners below.

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South Korea April 2016: Kia Niro almost in Top 20

Kia Niro South Korea April 2016Kia Niro

* Now updated with the Top 30 All-brands, Top 55 All-local models & Top 140 foreigners *

The South Korean new car market is up 4% year-on-year to 157.762 registrations with local manufacturers pulling the entire market gain at +4% and 139.617 sales whereas foreign carmakers are stable at 18.145 and 11.5% share. The year-to-date tally is now up 6%  are up 4% year-on-year in April to 139.617 registrations, lifting the year-to-date total up 5% at 579.533 units after five months. If perennial leader Hyundai is down 6% to fall below 60.000 units this month, sister brand Kia is in great shape with deliveries up 13% to 48.505. Similarly GM Korea (+10%), Ssangyong (+12%) and most strikingly Renault Samsung (+22%) all deliver double-digit year-on-year gains.

Ssangyong Tivoli South Korea January 2015. Picture courtesy bobaedream.co.krThe Ssangyong Tivoli is getting closer and closer to a first Top 10 ranking.

The Hyundai Porter is once again the most popular nameplate in the country despite sales down 3% to 9.155. It is followed this month by the Kia Sorento up a splendid 34% to 8.256 units, the Sonata (-5%) and Avante (-2%). The Chevrolet Spark still enjoys a new generation-fuelled boost at +63% in 5th position with the Kia K7 more than tripling its sales year-on-year (+238%) to 5.504 at #9. It’s just outside the Top 10 that things get really interesting. Over a year after its launch the Ssangyong Tivoli is still improving: up 57% this month to break its monthly volume record at 5.375, hitting its best ranking yet at #11 (previous best: #12 last November). If the Tivoli manages an incursion in South Korea’s Top 10 in the coming months, it would be the first Ssangyong to do so in 12 years, since the Rexton and Musso SUT in 2004.

Renault Samsung SM6 South Korea April 2016The Renault Samsung SM6 is an instant blockbuster in South Korea.

Hero of last month, the Samsung SM6 (aka Renault Talisman) confirms it is the hit the brand had been desperately waiting for, ranking at a strong #12 with 5.195 deliveries (12.283 year-to-date). The Genesis EQ900 brilliantly remains inside the Top 20 (2.986 sales) while the Kia Niro – aptly described by the company as a hybrid SUV with an un-hybrid design – misses out on a Top 20 ranking for is first full month in market by less than 600 sales at #21 with 2.440 units. Among other recent launches, the Chevrolet Impala is down 4 spots to #26 and the Hyundai Ioniq down 9 to #35.

Audi A6 South Korea April 2016Audi sales are up 145% in South Korea this month. 

In the foreign manufacturers aisle, BMW (+6%) overtakes Mercedes (-14%) to take the lead but remains behind year-to-date at 13.683 (-1%) vs. 16.805 (+11%) for Mercedes. Audi catches up on sales lost in the wake of the Volkswagen Group’s emissions scandal with sales up 145% to 2.474, with Toyota (+51%), Lexus (+30%), Land Rover (+61%) and Jeep (+60%) also impressive whereas Volkswagen falls apart at -70%. The BMW 5 Series is the best-selling import this month with 1.416 deliveries above the Audi A6 (1.313) but the Mercedes E-Class drops from its usual #1 spot in March to #5 this month. The Ford Explorer (#6), Mercedes CLA (#7) and Toyota Prius (#12) are all in great shape.

Previous post: South Korea January-March 2016: Genesis EQ900 and Samsung SM6 hit bullseye

One year ago: South Korea April 2015: New Hyundai Tucson shoots up to #2

Full April 2016 Top 30 brands, Top 55 All-local models & Top 140 foreigners below.

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South Korea Jan-Mar 2016: Genesis EQ900 & Samsung SM6 hit bullseye

Genesis EQ900 South Korea March 2016The Genesis EQ900 now dominates the luxury segment in South Korea.

* See the Top 55 local models, Top 130 foreigners and Top 30 brands by clicking on the title *

Now updated with the Top 30 brands and Top 135 foreigners for March 2016

The South Korean new car market starts 2016 on a shy note, down 7% year-on-year in January to 122.542 registrations, mainly pulled down by foreigners (-18% to 13.2% share vs. 15.1% in January 2015) while local brands are down 5%. February results are better (+5%) at 126.287 units but once again dragged down by foreign carmakers (-5%) with local manufacturers up 7%. March confirms the uptrend at +15% to 172.942, foreigners are up this time but lag behind the market at +7%.

In January, Hyundai (-1%), Kia (+5%) and Ssangyong (-4%) outperform the market to gain market share as opposed to GM Korea (-22%) and Renault Samsung (-63%) crumbling down below Mercedes (-2%) and BMW (-20%). Audi (-46%) and Volkswagen (-45%) are hit full frontal by the consequences of its emissions scandal but Land Rover (+79%), Ford (+33%), Mini (+39%) and Infiniti (+142%) start 2016 all guns blazing. February shows Kia (+20%), GM Korea (+25%), Mercedes (+24%), Land Rover (+50%), Mini (+48%) and Honda (+54%) all post solid gains while Volkswagen (-25%) and Audi (-60%) are struggling again. March sees Kia (+19%), GM Korea (+20%), Renault Samsung (+70%) and Mercedes (+42%) frankly outperform the market, with Land Rover (+46%), Mini (+42%) and Nissan (+30%) also strong.

Samsung SM6 South Korea March 2016The Samsung SM6 ranks 8th overall in March. 

The main event of these first three months of 2016 in South Korea is the excellent sales result of Hyundai’s new luxury brand: Genesis. Its first model, the EQ900, clocks up 2.164 sales in January, 2.476 in February and 3.570 in March. This is enough to solidly install in inside the Top 20 local models (#19), but most significantly it is a notch above the imported luxury sedans it is aiming at: the Mercedes E-Class, #1 foreigner over the period, only managed 1.500 units in January, 1.637 in February and , and that was more than double any other foreigner. Look no further than the Genesis success to explain for a large part the plateauing of foreign sales so far in South Korea this year.

Hyundai Ioniq South Korea March 2016. Picture courtesy autocar.co.ukHyundai Ioniq. Picture autocar.co.uk

The EQ900 isn’t the only successful newcomer. The Hyundai Ioniq hybrid lands at #32 in January and soars to #22 in February (1.311 sales), curbing its enthusiasm slightly in March at #26 (1.250 units). The Kia Mohave reappears in the ranking at #25 in February and #23 in March thanks to its facelift and the Kia Niro hybrid arrives at #54 in March with four sales. But the most impressive launch goes to the Samsung SM6 (aka Renault Talisman): after a couple of very timid months (#50 in January and #41 in February), it shoots up to #8 overall in March with a stunning 6.751 sales, light years above its results so far in France and any other worldwide country for that matter. The SM6 is the first Samsung to rank inside the Top 10 in 5 years.

Chevrolet Spark

The Hyundai Porter takes the lead of the models ranking in January and March, earning it the year-to-date top spot above the Hyundai Avante, #1 in February, and the Kia Sorento. Boosted by its facelift, the Kia K7 soars to third place overall in February and even though it falls back down to #9 in March, it is up 3-fold so far in 2016. Similarly, the Chevrolet Spark is up 97% to #6 in February and up 88% to #2 in March. Among foreign models, the Mercedes GLC is an instant blockbuster, ranking 6th overall both in January and February and adding up to 1.062 sales in two months. The Ford Explorer also shines at #9 so far this year vs. #15 in 2015, as do the Infiniti Q50 (#11), Mercedes GLE (#14), Land Rover Discovery Sport (#15) and BMW 7 Series (#24).

Previous post: South Korea Full Year 2015: Hyundai Sonata #1, Ssangyong Tivoli shines

One year ago (Jan): South Korea January 2015: Ssangyong Tivoli lands at #17

One year ago (Feb): South Korea February 2015: SsangYong Tivoli up to #13

One year ago (Mar): South Korea March 2015: Hyundai Porter and Sonata on top

Full January, February and March 2016 Top 30 All-brands , Top 55 local models and Top 130 foreigners below.

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