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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

Full H1 2016 Top 30 All-brands, Top 60 local models and Top 170 foreigners vs. Full H1 2015 data below.

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