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South Korea April 2022: Kia #1 for 3rd time in 4 months, Hyundai Porter and Kia Bongo on top

The Hyundai Porter is the best-selling vehicle in South Korea in April.

The South Korean new light vehicle market reduces its fall to -11.5% to 142,698 sales in April as parts shortages continue to impact the industry. New subsidies for eco-friendly cars has somehow prevented a larger drop. The year-to-date volume now stands at 512,728 units, off -13.5% over a year ago. In the detail, local manufacturers are down -11.8% this month to 119,628 while foreigners drop -9.8% to 23,070. Year-to-date, locals drop -13.6% to 427,926 and foreigners are down -13% to 84,802. A momentous change atop the brands ranking is starting to cement itself: Kia (-2%) is the #1 brand at home for the 2nd consecutive month and the third time this year, solidifying its year-to-date leadership (-5.2%) with a 4,000 sales advantage over Hyundai, down -14.6% this month and -19.7% YTD. Genesis (-18.7%) easily holds onto the third position but sees its market share thaw to 7.9% vs. 8.5% YTD. Mercedes (-7.2%) remains the most popular foreign brand at #4 overall, distancing BMW (+8/9%). These are the only two foreigners in the Top 8 as Ssangyong (+45.8%) on plant closure-affected low year-ago sales, GM Korea (-46.1%) and Renault Samsung (-57.4%) follow. Volvo (+5.5%) braves the negative market at #9 with Audi (-20.4%) rounding out the Top 10. Toyota (+23.9%), Land Rover (+58.8%), Bentley (+83.3%) post the only additional gains in market just as newcomer Polestar is up three spots on March to #17.

Over in the local models charts, the Hyundai Porter (-8.3%) and Kia Bongo (-4.4%) are the two best-selling vehicles for the 2nd time in the past 3 months and are now also #1 and #2 year-to-date. Part of the reason for this success is the lower amount of semiconductors needed to produce these two vehicles with has helped production. Thanks to the end of a production bottleneck, The Hyundai Avante (aka Elantra), down -14% year-on-year, rallies back up 8 spots on March to land on the third step of the podium. The Kia Sorento (-10.9%) is down two two ranks to #4, distancing the Hyundai Grandeur (-46.4%) and Kia Carnival (-40.9%) in great difficulty. The Kia Sportage (+290.4%) benefits from both the new generation and its EV variant but is down four spots on last month to #7. The Hyundai Tucson (-6.8%) resists best in the remainder of the Top 10. The Hyundai Casper (#15) is the best-selling recent launch (<12 months) above the Kia EV6 (#17) and Genesis GV60 (#35).

Looking at foreign models, the podium is identical to year-to-date, with the Mercedes E-Class (-12.4%) in the lead above the BMW 5 Series (+28.6%) and Mercedes S-Class (+74.2%) in tow and faring extremely well. The Mercedes C-Class (+342.2%) is up 37 spots on last month to #4 vs. #13 year-to-date distancing the BMW 3 Series (-2.7%) and 6 Series (+64.1%). The Mercedes GLB (+2.2%) jumps from outside the March 2022 Top 50 directly to #7 but the hero of the month is the Polestar 2 up 22 ranks to #8 and breaking into the South Korean Top 10 for the first time. The Volvo S90 (+46.4%), BMW 7 Series (+70.4%), Volvo XC40 (+18.7%), Jeep Wrangler (+38.2%) and Toyota RAV4 (+92.9%) also shine in the remainder of the Top 20, with the Mercedes G Class (+67.7%) also strong and the BMW i4 celebrating its first Top 50 finish directly at #24.

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

One year ago: Hyundai Grandeur back on top, Staria and Ioniq 5 land in market down -2.5%

Full April 2022 Top 30 All-brands, Top 55 All local models and Top 50 foreigners below.

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