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South Korea October 2018: EV pushes Hyundai Kona to record, market up 23.8%

The new EV variant pushes the Hyundai Kona to a new ranking record at home.

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

After tumbling down 17.2% in September, the South Korean new car market rebounds in October at +23.8% to 160.370 registrations, with the surge very uniform between local carmakers (+23.8%) and foreigners (+23.6%). Year-to-date, the market is now up 1.6% to 1.490.221 units, this time solely pulled into positive by foreign manufacturers up 14% to 218.168 and 14.6% share while locals drop 0.2% to 1.272.053 and 85.4%. Brand leader Hyundai (+19%) trails its home market but posts a very strong 38.1% share vs. 36.4% YTD, while sister brand Kia (+23%) hits 28.7% vs. 29.6% so far this year. Ssangyong (+36%) outpaces the market to 6.3% share, distancing Renault Samsung (+24%) back above GM Korea (+8%). Mercedes soars 40% year-on-year and four spots on September to #6 and #1 foreigner, back above Genesis (+196%) while BMW (-52%) implodes to 1.3% share vs. 3% YTD. Lexus (+119%) signs the largest year-on-year gain in the Top 15, surging 11 ranks on last month to #9 while Toyota (+21%) is also back inside the Top 10. Porsche (+339%), Cadillac (+86%), Mini (+79%), Citroen (+64%), Peugeot (+45%), Jeep (+35%) and Ford (+34%) shine.

The Renault Samsung Master has landed in South Korea.

The Hyundai Santa Fe (+153%) has now been the best-seller at home for 8 straight months but remains #2 year-to-date (+108%) below the Hyundai Grandeur (-18%) due to two weak months of the previous generation at the start of the year. The Hyundai Porter (+20%) climbs up to 2nd place overall, the Kia Carnival (+62%) and Hyundai Kona (+41%) post the largest improvements in the Top 10 – with the latter breaking its ranking record at #7 (previous best #9 in September 2017) thanks to the new electric variant. Outside the Top 10, the Hyundai Veloster (+1838%), Kia K9 (+1571%), Ssangyong Korando Sports (+139%), Kia Ray (+85%), Chevrolet Trax (+62%), Hyundai Grand Starex (+60%), Kia K3 (+59%), Kia K5 (+54%) and Samsung QM6 (+52%) are among the best performers. This month we welcome the Renault Samsung Master at #48. In the foreign models aisle, the Mercedes E-Class reclaims the top spot, distancing the Lexus ES up 77 ranks on September, the VW Passat GT, BMW 5 Series and Toyota Camry.

Previous month: South Korea September 2018: Hyundai Grand Starex up to #6 in freefalling market

One year ago: South Korea October 2017: Facelifted Hyundai Sonata up 31% in market down 11%

Full October 2018 Top 30 All-brands, Top 62 All local models and Top 85 foreign models below.

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