Imported vehicle sales up 11.8 percent last year

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Imported vehicle sales up 11.8 percent last year

Sales of imported vehicles in Korea continued to rise last year, aided by firm demand for foreign brands and the resumption of sales by Audi Volkswagen, industry data showed Friday.

The number of newly registered foreign vehicles reached 260,705 last year, up 11.8 percent from a year earlier, the Korea Automobile Importers & Distributors Association said in a statement.

The total number of imported cars sold in 2018 is an all-time record.

The market share of foreign cars rose to a record high of 16.7 percent last year, shattering the previous all-time high of 15.5 percent in 2015, the data showed.

The three best-selling models were the Mercedes-Benz E 300 (8,726 units sold) and E 300 4MATIC (9,141 units) and the Lexus ES300h (8,803 units).

Mercedes-Benz became the first imported cars to sell more than 70,000 vehicles. It took the No. 1 spot among imported cars.

BMW, despite controversy of its engine catching fire, kept its second spot by selling 50,524 vehicles.

Toyota took third place with 16,774.

Seven out of 10 imported vehicles sold in Korea last month were from Germany, the statement said.

In December alone, however, the sales of foreign vehicles fell 8.7 percent on year to 20,450, it said.

In 2017, imported vehicle sales reached 233,088 units, up from 225,279 a year earlier.

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