* See the Top 6 All-local brands and Top 59 All-local models by clicking on the title *
Sales of local models in South Korea are up 8% year-on-year in July to 130.611 registrations, yet the year-to-date tally remains in negative territory at -2% to 910.305 units. Market leader Hyundai more than double the market growth at +22% to 44.9% share of local brands vs. 43.6% year-to-date. Kia (-1%) takes the other direction but holds a strong market share at 33.4% vs. 32.9% so far this year. GM Korea (-25%) and Genesis (-17%) plunge while Ssangyong (+15%) outpaces the market and Renault Samsung (+8%) matches it. The Hyundai Grandeur celebrates eight consecutive months in pole position, Hyundai monopolising the July Top 4 with the Porter (+5%), Avante (+14%) and Sonata (-3%). The Kia Carnival ranks 5th both in July and YTD where it overtakes the Picanto. The Hyundai Tucson (+20%) and Kia Sportage (+15%) post solid gains.
But the big news of the month in South Korea is the simultaneous arrival of the two twin small local SUVs: the Hyundai Kona lands directly inside the Top 20 at #19 and the Kia Stonic arrives at #28. Although these two nameplates are promised to explosive sales pretty much everywhere they will launch, their success at home isn’t as steadfast: South Korean consumers may allow the latest SUVs to temporarily lead the sales charts at (re)launch – see the Santa Fe for example in June 2012, July 2015 and September 2016 – but they traditionally don’t stay there for long and it has been 13 years (since 2004) that the same Santa Fe led the annual ranking. The traditional sedan is still the most popular vehicle format in South Korea as the implacable domination of the Grandeur this year confirms. In this context, it will be interesting to see how high the Kona and Stonic can climb at home and how long they can stay there.
Full July 2017 Top 6 All-local brands and Top 59 All-local models below.