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South Korea April 2019: Hyundai Sonata (+55%) scores first podium in 1.5 years in market down 6.6%

The new generation lifts Hyundai Sonata sales up 55% at home.

This article has been updated with the Top 80 foreign models.

New car sales in South Korea continue to look depressed with April volumes down another -6.6% to 154.515 units, as local manufacturers (-2.2% to 136.296) are hampered by a paltry performance from foreign carmakers (-29.7% to 18.219). The year-to-date tally is now down -3.6% to 568.997 units, and this time locals edge up 0.4% to 498.617 but foreigners dive -24.6% to 70.380. Hyundai (+10.9%) shows excellent shape to solidly hold onto the brands pole position with a suffocating 42.1% share ahead of its sister brand Kia (-16%) at 27.2%. Ssangyong (+26.5%) continues to be buoyed by the new Korando (+646%) and is followed this month by Mercedes (-11%) managing an outstanding 4th place for the second time this year after January despite a double-digit drop. Below, GM Korea (+19.6%) and Genesis (+24.3%) overtake Renault Samsung (-10.5%) down 3 spots on March to #7. Jeep/Chrysler (+88.3%), Honda (+72.5%), Rolls Royce (+69.2%), Lexus (+66.5%) and Porsche (+22.2%) are the best performing brands further down just as Toyota (-51.4%), BMW (-50.9%) and Land Rover (-43.2%) implode and both Audi and Volkswagen are once again victims of stop sales and are out of the ranking for the month.

Model-wise, the Hyundai Grandeur (+2.3%) scores a 6th consecutive win ahead of the Hyundai Porter (+0.6%) while the Sonata (+55%) is starting to feel the benefits of its new generation, back onto its home podium for the first time since October 2017. The Santa Fe (-42.9%) is now in freefall and almost completely caught up by its 7-seat variant the Palisade up to a record 6.583 sales or just 176 below. This means that for the third month in a row and only the 5th time this decade (add December 2012 and July 2013), the Top 5 best-selling models in South Korea are all Hyundais. The Genesis G90 (+207.3%), Chevrolet Trax (+120.7%), Kia Niro (+110.5%), Hyundai Tucson (+42.8%), Samsung QM6 (+42.1%) and Hyundai Kona (+35.5%) also make themselves noticed below.

The Mercedes E-Class (+25.4%) remains the best-selling foreign model in South Korea, selling almost 4 times as the #2, the BMW 5 Series (-69.3%), with the Mercedes C-Class (-59.1%), S-Class (+13.7%) and Lexus ES (+11.8%) rounding up the Top 5. The Lexus UX is up 29 spots to #15 to lead all recent launches (<12 months), ahead of the Volvo XC40 (#25), Nissan Leaf (#27), Jeep Compass (#37), BMW X2 (#70) and X7 (#70).

Previous month: South Korea March 2019: Ssangyong (+18.8%), Genesis (+8.5%) can’t help market down -5.7%

One year ago: South Korea April 2018: Hyundai Santa Fe scores first back-to-back win in 13 years

Full April 2019 Top 30 All-brands, Top 55 All local models and Top 80 foreign models below.

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