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South Korea June 2020: Anticipated end of tax cut triggers 41.2% market surge, Genesis breaks record again

The new G80 lifts Genesis to a third consecutive volume record at home.

The post-pandemic recovery takes a spectacular turn in South Korea in June with new car sales surging by a whopping 41.2% year-on-year to 203.818 units due to the anticipated end on June 30 of a temporary 30% cut in consumption tax on passenger cars. However it was announced at the very end of June that this cut would be extended until December 31 in order to boost consumption and support the auto industry. In any case, June 2020 is the first month above 200.000 sales since December 2015 (200.203) and the largest monthly volume outright in over 6 years. This fantastic result follows already strong results in both April (+7%) and May (+12.7%) and lifts the First Half 2020 volume up 7.2% to 925.612 units. Local manufacturers (+41.2%) perform exactly the same as foreign ones (+41.1%), selling 176.468 and 27.350 respectively. Year-to-date, locals are up 5.7% to 797.376 while foreigners soar 17.3% to 128.236. We have now revised our 2020 forecast up to 1.95 million (+10%) vs. 1.87m (+6%) a month ago

The Kia K5 advances to #2 year-to-date, only outsold by the Hyundai Grandeur.

In this very unusual context, the Top 14 brand all progress by at least double-digits, including top sellers Hyundai (+24.4%) and Kia (+41.5%) which add up to 63.9% of the market vs. 66.1% so far in 2020. Renault Samsung (+80.7%) reclaims the third spot it holds YTD while Genesis (+202.5%) aligns a third consecutive all-time volume record at 13.315 units, tripling its June 2019 score. Ssangyong (+18.6%) and GM Korea (+61.5%) ensure the Top 6 spots are all held by local carmakers. Mercedes (+15.7%) only needs a subdued uptick to remain the #1 foreigner, well above BMW (+23.6%), Audi up 3400-fold after a stop-sale order in 2019, Jeep (+47.4%), Volkswagen (+108.3%) and Mini (+116.1%). Porsche (+387%), Nissan (+190.1%) and Lamborghini (+250%) also stand out.

Lamborghini sales are up 250% year-on-year in June.

The four best-selling nameplates in the country are all boosted by new generation and at least double their sales year-on-year: the Hyundai Grandeur (+135.8%) firmly keeps the lead of the models charts ahead of the Kia Sorento (+170.9%) back to a record 2nd place, the Hyundai Avante (+100.4%) and Kia K5 (+194.3%), the latter advancing to #2 YTD. The Genesis G80 (+326.6%) is up 4-fold on June 2019 to smash its volume record anew at 7.905, with the Hyundai Palisade (+120.5%) and Samsung QM6 (+64.8%) also outpacing their home market in the remainder of the Top 10. The Kia Seltos (#12) tops recent launches above the Samsung XM3 (#13) and Genesis GV80 (#16) but all skid down the charts while the Chevrolet Trailbazer is back up 10 ranks to #22.

The Ford Explorer is back among the 10 best-selling foreigners.

The Mercedes E-Class (+16.9%) easily remains the best-selling foreign nameplate in South Korea with over 4.000 sales which places it just outside the overall Top 15, but this month the Audi A6 topples the BMW 5 Series (+1.4%) and VW Tiguan to rank #2 and surge to #4 year-to-date. The Mercedes C-Class (-5.3%) is up one spot on May to round out the Top 5 while the Nissan Altima, Lexus ES and Mercedes GLE all post their first Top 10 appearance this year. The Ford Explorer (+24.4%) is also back inside the June Top 10 but also YTD at #10.

Previous month: South Korea May 2020: Genesis scores first podium finish G80 up to record #5, market shoots up 12.7%

One year ago: South Korea June 2019: Hyundai Sonata repeats at #1 in difficult context (-7%)

Full June 2020 Top 30 All-brands, Top 55 All local models and Top 10 foreign models below.

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