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South Korea January 2022: G80 first ever Genesis to rank #1, Kia outsells Hyundai for 2nd time

The Genesis G80 is the best-selling vehicle in South Korea in January.

New car sales in South Korea drop -20.3% year-on-year in January to 111,261 units, including 93,900 domestic vehicles (-19.9%) and 17,361 foreigners (-22.2%). For the second time in history after last July, Kia (-10.7%) outpaces sister brand Hyundai (-25.8%), this time by 1,413 units (it was just 254 last July). Genesis (-8%) falls slower than the market and scores a 4th consecutive five-digit sales figure to rank at #3 overall. BMW (-2.9%) resists even better and climbs four spots on December to land at an excellent 4th place, distancing Ssangyong (-14.4%) and Renault Samsung (+26.7%) up on a particularly low base a year ago. Mercedes (-42.5%) suffers and drops two ranks on last month to #7 while GM Korea (-78%) literally implodes due to delays in the ramping up of a new global production facilities. Among foreign manufacturers making wave, let’s single out Honda (+53.6%), Bentley (+40%), Ford (+36.9%), Peugeot (+32.5%), Rolls Royce (+21%), Lexus (+15.8%) and Mini (+15%) but keep in mind they each hold less than 0.8% market share.

There’s an earthquake in the models ranking: for the first time in Korean history a Genesis is the monthly best-seller. This honour goes to the striking G80 (-2.6%) limiting its year-on-year loss to gain control of the overall charts. This is a very impressive result for the luxury model. The Hyundai Porter (-31.6%), leader over the Full Year 2021, ranks 2nd above the Hyundai Avante (-17%). The Kia Sorento (-32.3%) is in difficulty but still manages to gain four spots on December to end the month at #4 while the Kia Bongo (+4.4%) is the first model to be up year-on-year and climbs 7 ranks on last month to #5. The Kia Sportage (+289.8%) continues to benefit from the launch of the new generation last year but drops three spots to #6. The Hyundai Palisade (+12.7%) is up 9 ranks to #7, becoming the brand’s best-selling SUV. Although it doesn’t break its monthly volume record, the Hyundai Casper breaks into its home Top 10 for the first time at #9 after a September launch. In the naughty corner, the Hyundai Grandeur (-77.7%), #1 in December but #22 this month, and Sonata (-43.6%) suffer from the closure of the Asan plant where they are both produced, in preparation for the production of the Ioniq 6.

Looking at foreign models, the BMW 5 Series (+15.4%) climbs three spots on December to snap the pole position, knocking down the Mercedes E-Class (-31.7%) to #2. The Mercedes S-Class (+407%) displays impressive year-on-year growth but remains third overall. The BMW 3 Series (-7.3%) and X5 (+8.4%) slip into the Top 5, with the BMW X7 (+145.5%), Lexus ES (+54.2%), Mini Cooper Hatch (+32.9%) and Ford Explorer (+30.6%) also making themselves noticed in the remainder of the Top 10. 

Previous post: South Korea Full Year 2021: Hyundai Porter best-seller, Genesis up 28% in market down -8.6%

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

Full January 2022 Top 30 All-brands, Top 55 All-domestic models and Top 50 foreigners below.

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