This post has been updated with the Top 85 foreign models.
It’s a month to forget in South Korea with September deliveries plunging down 17.2% year-on-year to just 127.352 units, the first double-digit decline since October 2017 (-11%). Local carmakers tumble down 17.5% to 110.130 units while foreigners follow suit for once at -14.9% to 17.222 and 13.5% share vs. 15% so far this year. The year-to-date volume remains in positive – just – at +1.6% to 1.329.851 with dynamic foreigner manufacturers up 16.7% to 197.355 pulling the entire market into positive and compensating for weak locals down 0.6% to 1.132.496. Hyundai (-17%) matches the market decline at 38% share vs. 36.2% YTD, whereas sister brand Kia (-25%) falls faster to 28.1% vs. 29.7%. Ssangyong (-19%) and GM Korea (-17%) follow the overall direction but Renault Samsung (-9%) slows down its fall to hit 5.3% share vs. 4.7% so far in 2018. Genesis soars 187%, still mainly thanks to the renaming of the G70 into a Genesis nameplate, managing to outsell all foreign premium carmakers for the second month in a tow at 3.2% share.
After an emissions-linked stop-sale order kept Audi and Volkswagen away from the South Korean market from July 2016 to March 2018, both German have now fully recovered. In 7th place, Audi reaches its highest overall ranking in South Korea since March 2015 while Volkswagen, at #8, is at its highest since March 2016. In fact, having Audi and Volkswagen as the two best-selling foreign marques had not happened in at least 4 years. BMW (-61%) and Mercedes (-65%) take the brunt of the VW Group’s return into Korean dealerships. Peugeot (+52%), Citroen (+50%), Jeep/Chrysler (+45%), Toyota (+30%) and Volvo (+28%) are all in great shape this month.
In the local models ranking, the Hyundai Santa Fe (+130%) celebrates 7 consecutive months at #1, a streak that is potentially unique in the history of the nameplate at home. However, the first two months of the year when the previous generation was on sale, continue to prevent the Santa Fe from holding the YTD crown, still going to the Hyundai Grandeur (-33%) stuck at #2 this month. The Hyundai Grand Starex (+24%) leaps up 16 spots on August to #6, reaching its highest ranking at home in at least 6 years. The Hyundai Veloster (+3253%), Kia K9 (+1192%), Genesis G70 (+165%), Ssangyong Korando Sports (+56%) also shine. Big surprise in the foreign models ranking with the Audi A3 stepping into the lead ahead of the VW Passat GT, BMW 5 Series and the year-to-date leader the Mercedes E-Class.
Previous month: South Korea August 2018: Hyundai Santa Fe marks 6 months at #1
Full September 2018 Top 30 All-brands, Top 60 All local models and Top 85 foreign models below.