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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 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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