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South Korea June 2018: Hyundai Santa Fe cements leadership

The Hyundai Santa Fe enjoys a 4th consecutive month in pole position.

This post has been updated with the Top 85 best-selling foreign models.

The South Korea new car market sinks 5% year-on-year in June to 155.138 registrations, just as foreign carmakers drop 2% to 23.311 units, this time failing to offset local carmakers’ 6% decline at 131.827. This negative result, the second year-on-year drop in 2018, pulls the YTD volume gain to a meagre +1% to 902.647 deliveries. Strikingly, the Top 6 best-selling brands all post year-on-year falls: market leader Hyundai skids down 10% to 35.3% share, Kia is down 2% to 29.7%, Ssangyong down 8% to 6.2%, GM Korea down 17% to 6.1%, Renault Samsung down 21% to 4.6% and even the best-selling foreign carmaker, Mercedes, is hit at -20% to 4% share.

Record volume for the Chevrolet Bolt. Picture Esquire Korea.

Genesis soars 4-fold to 3.1% mainly due to the rebranding of its most popular model, the G80, from Hyundai to Genesis during the past year. Below, BMW (-24%) is also in freefall but remains well above all other foreign manufacturers, selling more than double its immediate followers Volkswagen, already down 16% on May for its return in market after a year-long stop sale order, Land Rover (+52%) and Toyota (+47%). Audi is also weak at just 0.8% share, while Peugeot (+42%) and Porsche (+40%) shine but remain at micro levels, both holding a tiny 0.3% share. Honda (-70%), Infiniti (-42%), Cadillac (-30%), Jaguar (-28%), Nissan (-23%), Bentley (-21%) and Citroen (-20%) all implode.

The Chevrolet Equinox has landed in South Korea.

Over in the local models ranking, the Hyundai Santa Fe (+104%) posts a 4th consecutive month as the best-selling nameplate at home, a feat it hadn’t managed since 2004. This is still however far from enough to snap the YTD pole position, a ranking held by the Hyundai Grandeur (-29%) with a 6.715 unit advantage. The Hyundai Porter (-16%) remains faithful to the 3rd spot it holds YTD despite a steep drop, and is followed by the Kia Carnival (+7%) and Sorento (+2%) continuing their outstanding career given their price tag. The Hyundai Grand Starex (+21%) takes advantage of its facelift, as does the Kia K3 (+56%) which however drops out of the Top 10. The Ssangyong Korando Sports (+108%) is the brand’s best-seller for the 2nd month in a row and since November 2014, the Chevrolet Volt/Bolt tandem hits its largest ever monthly volume at 1.648 and the Chevrolet Equinox lands at a shy 43rd place.

The VW Tiguan remains the #3 foreigner in South Korea in June.

Previous month: South Korea May 2018: Hyundai Santa Fe 3peats, foreign brands up 23%

One year ago: South Korea June 2017: Hyundai Grandeur leads, Kia Stinger in Top 30

Full June 2018 Top 30 brands and Top 60 models, Full May 2018 Top 85 foreigners below.

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