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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 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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