* NOW UPDATED with the Top 30 brands, Top 60 local models and Top 170 foreigners – click on title *
The South Korean new car market slides down 2% year-on-year in 2017 to 1.783.177 units, including 1.550.089 local cars (-2%) and 233.088 imports (+3%). Hyundai goes agains the grain with a 5% improvement to 37.3% share but was threatened by sister brand Kia (down 3% to 29.2%) in December. GM Korea is in great difficulty at -27% to just 7.4% of the market, lodging its first four-digit monthly sales figures in years in both September and October. Ssangyong (+3%) is back above Renault Samsung (-10%) while Hyundai’s luxury brand Genesis is stable (+2%) but gets a boost in both November (+590%) and December (+425%) thanks to the rebranding of the Hyundai Genesis which becomes the Genesis G80.
In the foreign aisle, the stepping down of Audi (-94%) and Volkswagen (-100%) due to harsh stop-sale orders linked to their 2015 emissions scandal enables Mercedes (+22%) and BMW (+23%) to sail away. Both Lexus (+19%) and Toyota (+26%) defy a general anti-Japanese sentiment present in South Korea and break into the Top 10 brands for 2017. Cadillac (+82%), Rolls-Royce (+59%), Honda (+55%), Bentley (+52%), Fiat (+49%), Citroen/DS (+27%), Volvo (+27%), Jeep/Chrysler (+22%) and Lamborghini (+20%) all post spectacular year-on-year gains this year.
Model-wise, 2017 is the first year that sees the Hyundai Grandeur tops the South Korean charts, its previous best being #2 in 2006. Uncontested leader through the 12 months of the year, the Grandeur also beats the nameplate’s annual volume record thanks to deliveries almost doubling (+92%) on the previous generation in 2016 to 132.080. Previous best volume for the Grandeur was hit in 2011 with 107,652 sales. The Hyundai Porter is knocked down from its pedestal but still gains 5% to a new record 101.423 units. The Hyundai Avante aka Elantra (-11%) rounds up the podium while the Sonata (+1%) makes the Top Four 100% Hyundai. Four Kias follow (Sorento, Morning, Carnival and Bongo). At #9, the Ssangyong Tivoli breaks becomes the first Ssangyong to rank inside its home annual Top 10 in 14 years, since the Rexton and Musso SUT in 2003.
We welcome four all-new nameplates among the local South Korean models in 2017: the Hyundai Kona fares the best at #23, peaking at #9 in September, followed by the Kia Stonic at #33 (personal best: #23 in August), the Kia Stinger at #40 (#29 in June) and the Genesis G70 at #43 (#27 in December). Over in the foreign models ranking, the Mercedes E Class (+42%) and BMW 5 Series (+40%) both post spectacular gains to cement their domination, followed by the BMW 3 Series (+15%) and Mercedes C Class (-1%) like in 2016. The Lexus ES is up 22% and two spots to #5, the Honda Accord surges 84% to #7 while the Ford Explorer (+27%) and Toyota Camry (+39%) also shine in the Top 10. Below, the Nissan Altima (+34%), Mercedes GLC (+23%), BMW X5 (+61%), Mercedes AMG range (+636%) and BMW X6 (+44%) also make themselves noticed while among newcomers the Infiniti Q30 (#54), Range Rover Velar (#75) and Volvo V90 (#92) are the most popular.
Previous month: South Korea November 2017: Hyundai Grandeur holds ground at #1
Previous year: South Korea Full Year 2016: Hyundai Porter first LCV to #1
Full Year 2017 Top 30 brands, Top 60 local models and Top 170 foreigners vs. Full Year 2016 figures below.
Full December 2017 Top 6 local brands and Top 60 models below.