* See the Top 45 local models, Top 140 foreigners and Top 30 brands by clicking on the title *
The South Korean new car market is up a fantastic 16% year-on-year in September to 148.448 registrations, lifting the year-to-date total up to 1.294.172 units. This strong upwards trend is due to the combination of a slew of new strong-selling local models and import sales breaking record after record: up 20% this month to 20.381 deliveries and 14.7% market share. Hyundai remains the most popular choice at home but is frankly below its traditional level at just 35% share vs. 38.6% year-to-date. Sister brand Kia on the opposite is up a beautiful 17% to 30.3% share, above the 29.2% it commands so far in 2015. GM Korea is up 24% while Ssangyong shoots up 59% to 8.106 sales thanks to the success of the Tivoli edging up to a best-ever 13th position in September. Among foreign brands, Mercedes outsells BMW once again (4.329 vs. 3.506) and is now threatening the Bavarian marque for the top spot year-to-date (34.889 vs. 35.277). Audi (+45%) lurks just behind and passes Volkswagen (+27%). Notice also Lexus (+45%), Peugeot (+122%), Honda (+57%) and Jaguar (+51%) also in great shape.
Thanks to the arrival in dealerships of the 2016 generation, the Hyundai Avante – aka Elantra – is once again the best-selling nameplate at home in South Korea with 8.583 sales, and like in August Hyundai monopolises the podium with the Sonata at #2 and Santa Fe at #3. Note a second consecutive low month from the Hyundai Porter (#6) means the Sonata is now #1 year-to-date despite sales down 7% to 74.945. The Kia Sorento is up two spots on last month to an excellent 4th place, the Kia Carnival is up 65% year-on-year to #7, the Chevrolet Spark up 48% to #9 thanks to the new model, the Kia K5 is up 75% to #9, the Hyundai Genesis up 38% to #17 and the Chevrolet Impala climbs 19 ranks on August to #23 for its second appearance in the Korean sales charts.
Over on the import charts, the hierarchy is respected with the Mercedes E-Class (+15%), BMW 5 Series (+51%) and Audi A6 (+30%) dominating, this month joined by the Mercedes C-Class (+97%) in the select club of foreign nameplates selling over 1.000 monthly units in South Korea. The Audi A4 (+68%) and Mercedes S-Class (+47%) also impress inside the Top 10, while below let’s single out the Ford Explorer (+68%), BMW X6 (#22) and the Jaguar XE up 54 ranks on August to a splendid 31st position. Finally we welcome the Jeep Renegade in the South Korean charts this month, landing directly at #41 in the foreigner ranking with 138 units sold.
Previous month: South Korea August 2015: Facelifted Chevrolet Spark soars to #4
One year ago (1): South Korea September 2014: New Kia Sorento shoots up to #3
One year ago (2): South Korea September 2014: Now with Top 185 All-models
Full September 2015 Top 45 locals, Top 140 foreigners and Top 30 brands below.