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

Renault Samsung SM6 South Korea May 2016. Picture courtesy 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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