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South Korea February 2021: Market rallies up 25.6%, new Hyundai Tucson shines, Genesis GV70 in Top 15

Hyundai Tucson sales are up 282.6% year-on-year in February.

A year ago, the South Korean new car market was disrupted by Covid-19 and fell -19.6%. Logically this time, new car sales rally back up 25.6% to 123.646, which is also 1% better than February 2019. This includes 101.356 sales from local manufacturers (+24%) and 22.290 from foreigners (+33.3%). The year-to-date tally is now up 22% to 263.237 including 218.626 locals (+20.6%) and 44.611 foreigners (+29.8%). Both market leaders Hyundai (+24.1%) and Kia (+31%) take full advantage of the market revival and add up to 66.6% of the market this month, up from 65.2% so far this year.

Genesis (+129.4%) continues to perform very strongly, however at a little above 7.300 units this is the brand’s lowest volume since last August despite having one additional nameplate: the GV70. Mercedes (+18.5%) trails the market but advances to #4 overall above BMW (+48.5%) in outstanding shape. GM Korea (+2.4%) and Renault Samsung (+6.2%) are very shy while Ssangyong (-47.6%) implodes to its worst month since 2009 as massive production issues meant its factories operated for only three days this month. Further down, Audi (+341.5%), Volkswagen (+151.1%) and Porsche (+103.6%) get unshackled from stop sale orders still in place a year ago.

In the local models ranking, the Hyundai Grandeur (+13.4%) secures a 14th win in the past 16 months but has now dropped below 10.000 units for the third consecutive month. It distances the Hyundai Porter (-3.2%) in difficulty and the Kia Carnival (+145.1%) lifted again by the new model. The Hyundai Tucson (+282.6%) is up 4-fold year-on-year thanks to a new generation and is back up to 4th place for the second time in the past 4 months. Also benefiting from the new model effect are the Kia K5 (+27.5%), Hyundai Avante (+99%) and Kia Sorento (+147.5%). The Hyundai Palisade (+54.5%) shines and outsells its smaller twin the Hyundai Santa Fe (-6.6%) down below 3.000 sales for the first time in a year. The new Genesis GV70 continues to progress and breaks into the Top 15 at #15.

Over in the foreign models ranking, the Mercedes E-Class (+17.4%) retains the top spit above the BMW 5 Series (+17.1%) and Audi A6, in a podium identical to January. The Mercedes GLB is the hero of the month, surging 12 spots on January to land at a best-ever 4th place. It distances the BMW 3 Series (+46.4%), VW Jetta and Mercedes GLE (+319%). The Porsche Taycan makes its very first appearance in the South Korean Top 50 foreigners at #47.

Previous month: South Korea January 2021: Market up 19.1% on low comparison base, Kia Carnival 28 units off #1, Genesis GV70 in Top 20

One year ago: South Korea February 2020: Hyundai (-26.7%), Ssangyong (-32.7%) hit by coronavirus spread, market down -19.6%

Full February 2021 Top 30 All-brands, Top 57 All local models and Top 50 foreign models below.

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