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South Korea October 2020: Kia Carnival secures first-ever monthly win, sales gains slow to +1.8%

The Kia Carnival is the best-selling vehicle at home in October.

In October the South Korean new car market drastically slows its growth to just +1.8% at 159.752 units including 135.495 units local carmakers (+0.4%) and 24.257 for foreigners (+9.8%). The year-to-date tally is up 7% to 1.539.123 including 1.323.119 local makes (+6%) and 216.004 foreigners (+14.2%). We have adjusted our 2020 South Korea forecast down slightly up from 1.98 million sales (+11%) a month ago to 1.97 million (+10%). We still expect a pull-forward of sales during the last two months of the year as customers take advantage of the 30% consumer tax cut that has been extended to December.

Hyundai (-7.4%) wasn’t able to stay in positive this month but remains the #1 brand at home at 35.4% share above sister-company Kia (+1.8%). Genesis (+135.8%) repeats at a splendid third place in October, a ranking it also holds YTD. GM Korea (+10.5%) is the only remaining Korean brand in positive just as Renault Samsung (-15%) and Ssangyong (-5.4%) struggle. Among foreigners, Volkswagen (+221.1%), Volvo (+54.1%), BMW (+29.1%) and Audi (+14.3%) shine while leader Mercedes (-18.1%) is in difficulty.

In the local models ranking, the new generation Kia Carnival (+150.1%) lifts the nameplate to historical highs: a first ever monthly pole position and a second consecutive monthly volume record at 12.093. Strikingly, the entire Top 7 secures at least a double-0digit gain, with the Hyundai Palisade (+111%), Kia Sorento (+58.5%), Hyundai Avante (+26.6%) and Porter (+21%) the most dynamic. Although down to #2 for the month, the Hyundai Grandeur (+10.7%) remains by far the YTD best-seller at almost 125.000 units.

In the foreign models ranking, the BMW 5 Series (+21.2%), Audi A6 (+221.3%) and VW Tiguan (+962.5%) all leapfrog past the Mercedes E-Class (-59.1%), still runaway leader YTD. The Volvo XC40 (#6) and Mercedes GLB (#7) both score their first ever Top 10 finish.

Previous month: South Korea September 2020: Kia Carnival hits volume record in surging market (+20.8%)

One year ago: South Korea October 2019: Hyundai monopolises Top 5, Sonata now #1 YTD

Full October 2020 Top 30 All-brands, Top 57 All local models and Top 10 foreign models below.

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