Imports race to a sales record in slow season
The trade association said a total of 14,953 foreign cars were newly registered last month, beating the previous monthly sales record of 13,411 units in May.
The July sales figure was also a 39 percent increase from a year ago, and imports now account for 12.3 percent of the Korean market.
For the first seven months of the year, Kaida said a total of 89,440 imported cars were sold, a 22.5 percent increase from the previous year.
“Newly released models and aggressive promotions led to the growth in July sales,” said Yoon Dae-sung, executive director at Kaida.
German dominance continued as Volkswagen had its best monthly sales ever. The company sold 2,696 cars, a year-on-year increase of 124.3 percent, led by the newly released seventh-generation Golf and small SUV Tiguan.
The company said it will conduct a promotion this month to celebrate the impressive sales, offering no-interest payments for 36 months or rebates of 1 million won ($896) to 2 million won.
Meanwhile, Volvo was the biggest loser among foreign brands after suffering a 42.9 percent year-on-year decrease in July with 104 sales.
The five local automakers showed signs of recovery after selling 124,963 units in July, a 2.9 percent year-on-year increase, but seven-month figures remain down 1.8 percent from a year ago.
Industry insiders speculate that foreign sales will continues to rise due to aggressive discounts and summer promotions.
Toyota Korea, which suffered a rare sales decline in July, said it will extend a 7 million won discount promotion on the Venza and the 86, while taking 3 million won off the Camry Hybrid.
Chrysler Korea said last week it will offer 2 million won to 5 million won discounts on Fiats and reduce the price of a Chrysler 300C 3.6 by 7 million won for cash buyers.
Honda Korea is taking 2 million won off of the price tag of the Accord 3.5 and the Crosstour.
BY joo kyung-don [firstname.lastname@example.org]