skip to Main Content

South Korea March 2022: Kia leads, now #1 year-to-date in market off -19.2%

The Sportage (+525%) helps Kia to #1 this month.

New light vehicle sales in South Korea fall -19.2% year-on-year in March to 136,041 units, the 2nd double-digit decline so far this year. Local manufacturers are down -21.2% to 111,124 sales while foreigners limit their fall to -8.7% at 24,917 units. Year-to-date volumes are down -14.2% to 370,030 units and this time local carmakers (-14.3%) and foreigners (-14.2%) evolve almost exactly the same way to 308,298 and 61,732 sales respectively.

For the third time ever after July 2021 and January 2022, Kia (-11.7%) topples traditional leader Hyundai (-29.6%) to rank #1 at home. Strikingly, it is now also #1 year-to-date wth 32.9% share vs. 32.3% for Hyundai. Genesis (-23%) holds onto the third spot at 8% share, distancing Mercedes (+15.4%) and BMW (+13.7%) both in outstanding shape as is Ssangyong (+18.5%) in 6th place. In contrast, Renault Samsung (-21.6%) and GM Korea (-41.3%) are both in a difficult place. Volvo (+4.6%) and Mini (+4%) round out the Top 10 with market-defying gains. Further down, Bentley (+160%), Rolls Royce (+75%) Maserati (+4.9%) and Peugeot (+3.9%) post the only additional gains in market while newcomer Polestar shoots up to #20.

Over in the domestic models ranking, the Hyundai Grandeur (-27.7%) rises four spots on February to grab its first win this year desire despite a steep year-on-year drop and after falling to #22 in January due to factory closures. The Kia Sorento (-35%) is up one rank on last month but also struggles year-on-year, whereas the Kia Sportage (+525%) continues to be boosted by the new generation and is up six spots on February to #3. Leaders last month, the Hyundai Porter (-58%) and Kia Bongo (-38.5%) both implode but remain #1 and #2 respectively year-to-date. The Kia Seltos (+16.9%) is the only additional gainer in the Top 10. Among recent launches, the Hyundai Casper (#12) dominates this time above the Hyundai Ioniq 5 (#15), Kia EV6 (#19) and Hyundai Staria (#23). This month we welcome the Ssangyong Korando Emotion at #49.

As far as foreign models are concerned, the Mercedes E-Class (-12.9%) keeps the top spot as it does year-to-date, and this time the Tesla Model 3 (-21.7%) climbs up 24 ranks on February to #2 overall and #4 YTD. The BMW 5 Series (-2.2%) is knocked down to #3 while the Mercedes S-Class (+1538.8%) is also down one spot to #4. The Volvo S90 (+233%), Mercedes GLE (+145%), BMW X3 (+69%) and BMW X5 (+67.9%) also impress in the remainder of the Top 10 just as the BMW 3 Series (+5.3%) is also solid but to lesser extent but the Mercedes GLC (-47.8%), despite climbing 25 ranks on last month to #10, almost loses half its March 2021 volume. The Mercedes EQA (#22) dominates recent launches above the Polestar 2 (#30) and Mini Electric (#34).

Previous month: South Korea February 2022: Hyundai Porter and Kia Bongo on top, Hyundai Ioniq 5 up to #7

One year ago: South Korea March 2021: Genesis and Hyundai Porter break records in market edging down -1.8%

Full March 2022 Top 40 All-brands, Top 53 All-local models and Top 50 foreigners below.

This content is for Platinum members only.
Log In Register
Back To Top